Director of the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) Sharleen DaBreo has shot down claims that relief supplies are being hoarded in containers at the festival grounds instead of being distributed to the needy.
DaBreo, who was responding to questions by members of the press yesterday, said the containers seen at the Road Town location are empty, as supplies received have been distributed to the public.
“There are containers here, but they are empty. They are in the process of being returned,” she said.
“The people of the BVI had a need and we provided and addressed that need very quickly with what was available. When the supplies came on the ground, the distribution was done widely. No one was isolated, everyone had an opportunity to access the relief. To this day, we are satisfied that the people who need to have the relief received the relief.”
Noting that she has heard reports of poor service being dished out to persons at distribution centres, DaBreo said no official complaints have been made to her office.
“I have heard comments. I have seen and read comments on social media. We have not had any reports that have been lodged with us about this, so it is very difficult for me to take information from social media,” she stated.
“People get very emotional and very passionate about certain things… People get very frustrated and you may have that encounter, but we have not received any formal complaints of any abuse or any disrespect at any of these centres.”
Dabreo said moving forward, her teaming will be adopting certain best practices to ensure that those who turn up are satisfied.
“There have been some practices that have not been used elsewhere that have worked very well for the BVI and we are going to capitalize on that and make sure that is documented.”
She said persons in need of aid can also visit the Family Support Network, Red Cross has supplies, the Social Development Department as well as churches.