By Davion Smith, BVI News Online Journalist
Government is being warned that it may end up paying a heavy price if it does not urgently address the issue of housing for residents, including those said to be living among the dead since they were left homeless last month by monster hurricane Irma.
Representative of the Third Electoral District Julian Fraser revealed in the House of Assemble last week that a number of his constituents are staying in graveyards and among rubble.
“I didn’t say dead people in the cemetery; [I said] living people in the cemetery.”
“I have gone to places; I can show you where they are if you haven’t gone there. Just as you make the right turn to go on the race track [in Sea Cow’s Bay]…people live there. Right now it’s a [pile] of heap,” Fraser asserted.
The district representative said he is concerned that even more persons may be without proper shelter before the end of this week.
According to him, persons living in the emergency shelter at the Multi-purpose Sports Complex in Road Town are being told to leave that facility.
“I was told that they have to leave by Wednesday. Where are they going? That’s the government’s responsibility. I have not seen one trailer come to this country for the temporary housing of people. I haven’t seen it; I didn’t say they didn’t come,” Fraser said, adding that there are no shelters in his district.
“These are homeless people. We gotta address this issue head-on, and there is no getting away from it. If you try to run away from it, you’re gonna pay a heavy price for it, Premier [Dr D Orlando Smith]. This is our responsibility,” added Fraser, who also is a member of the parliamentary opposition.
The total number of houses reported damaged or destroyed during Hurricane Irma stood at 4,240 up to the end of September, according to the Third Situation Analysis of the hurricane presented by the Department of Disaster Management and the National Emergency Operations Centre.
The report added that approximately 22.5 percent of the territory’s population has been displaced. The 2010 Population and Housing Census Report said the British Virgin Islands has a population of 28,054.
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