BVI News

Penn leading post-rain recovery task force

Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Premier Brodrick Penn

The government has announced that a Recovery Task Force led by Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Premier Brodrick Penn has been mobilised to lead a number of initiatives following a tropical wave that devastated sections of the territory on August 7.

The group will – among several other things – facilitate and ensure efficient use of financial and technical resources in the recovery process.

The establishment of the task force follows deactivation of the National Emergency Operations Centre a few days ago.

Representatives of the 11 Government ministries and departments that make up the task force met this week Monday to discuss and agree on a recovery action plan.

Penn, in a Government Information Service press release, explained: “The members of the force will work collectively to promote effective [and] coordinated actions among all agencies, promote timely decision-making and implementation in support of the goal of recovery, facilitate and ensure efficient use of financial and technical resources, and suggest appropriate accounting and reporting arrangements.”

Penn added that another objective is to use the information from technical damage assessments to reduce hazard vulnerability in the future.

“Technical assessments are ongoing as we work to determine the failures that occurred to roads and slopes, analyse rainfall impacts on drains and ghuts, and conduct structural assessments which will be used to identify priority areas for development and designs best suited to minimise the impacts from similar events in the future,” Penn further said.

The task force’s different priority areas include coordinating and leading the recovery process, infrastructure and utilities, finance and economic management, aid management, educational services and facilities, environment and recreational services, health, debris management, and government services.

The task force has established a list of required actions to be completed under each priority area.

To ensure what the government calls a territory-wide all-hands-on deck approach to a rapid and complete recovery, the task force will also partner with relevant private sector stakeholders as well as the non-governmental organizations and service clubs.

It is comprised of representatives of the following public bodies: Premier’s Office, Deputy Governor’s Office, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Communications and Works, Ministry of Education and Culture, Ministry of Health and Social Development, Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour, Central Statistics Office, Town and Country Planning, Department of Information and Public Relations, and Department of Disaster Management.

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