BVI News

VOX POP: What should be ‘top priority’ in recovery plan?

From left: Quito Rymer, Carvin Malone, Cherno Jallow (top right), and Keith Malone.

Government’s proposed plans for the recovery and development of the British Virgin Islands is currently being discussed with various sectors of society.

The plan is divided into six priority areas; all competing for a share of $721 million.

BVI News sought the public’s view on what they felt should top the priority list.

Below are their responses:

Hotelier Quito Rymer felt the three areas that should get the largest bite of the funds are human and social services, natural resources and climate change, and infrastructure.

“I know that they have all these things planned. It’s just a matter of fast-tracking them,” he said.

“Help the people so that they can get back their basic comfort in their homes. In my opinion, those should be high on the priority list. The water situation in Cane Garden Bay and the other places that have been wrecked, and the airport expansion; that’s a priority,” Rymer said.

Past President of the Virgin Islands Party Carvin Malone also believed that human and social services, natural resources and climate change should top the list. He said business and the economy should also be included in the top three priorities.

“We have to look at the human nature of this. The bricks and mortar will come, the airports will come… the ports will come,” he said.

“It’s about people. A shelter is very important for people to have. We have to make sure we have a sure source of non-interruptible source of food supply and then getting people to remain in jobs,” he reasoned.

Local contractor Keith ‘88’ Malone named tourism and education as his top picks.

“I love the youths and the way I look at it; the children are the future and if we don’t secure our future, then we might as well stop living. So I would say education would be on the top of my list. Tourism; because it is one of our main pillars of our economy, and our infrastructure because though we have been ravished by the hurricanes, there still needs to be a sense of normalcy throughout the country.”

Meanwhile, Director of Policy, Research and Statistics, Cherno Jallow also believed human and social services should be government’s main prerogative.

“Every sector, if you look at it, is important but it’s all about the people. I think that’s what the government needs to do and I hope they are concentrating on people. [Find out] what are the people’s most immediate concerns and laisse with the people and find out what their immediate issues are.”

Ask God

When invited by BVI News to weigh in on the issue, a security guard said politicians should seek divine guidance on what the priority areas should be.

“They should pray and ask God for direction; not me. Let God lead the BVI.”

“Jobs, Jobs, Jobs should be their main priority right now. Getting people back into making money and then they can care for themselves and families. After that, they can do what they want,” said an unemployed resident from West End.

Other residents said government’s consultation with members of the public was a façade.

A taxi operator who preferred to remain unknown told BVI News: “It ain’t make no sense saying what priorities should be. The government done make the plan. They ain’t going to listen to us.”

The six priority areas in government’s proposed plan are business and economy ($262.9M), infrastructure ($216M), human and social services ($136.4M), natural resources and climate change ($25.9M), governance ($79.6M), and pride and cultural identity ($2M).

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  1. Janice says:

    Suckers,the climate is always changing…aka weather. You can’t control weather. But you can prepare. There should be a plan to to bury the electric lined. There should be plans for supply distribution. In case this should happen again. Or, any other travesty. Climate change is just a term to make people feel “cool”. Like you know something. But you are just suckers.

  2. quaziski says:

    Take care of the elderly and the children first.

  3. Vet says:

    @ Janice – Trump supporter are you? Read up on the eroding ozone layer, skin cancers increases, frequency of abnormal weather phenomenons, dwindling food supplies (due to environmental concerns not population increases). Agreed with having utilities buried and to add to that adequate drainage of roads. Invest more in renewable energy sources and reduce our carbon footprint…

  4. Jeanne Justice says:

    1.Address social welfare needs to insure safety and well being are reestablished.
    2. A 10 year plan to install/upgrade to a 21st century infrastructure: water, sewer, power (solar/wind), that is environment supportive.
    3. Formalize knowledge sharing across the Region to capture best practices and share in implementation costs.
    4. Transparency across all sectors. Attempting to create a democratic state without full transparency is futile.

  5. Brad says:

    God People Jobs Country

  6. @ says:

    The plan they have posted on their website lacks innovation and real tactical plan. After Irma they should have a much stronger of idea of what to do. So aside from knowing we don’t have a Chief Minister but a Premier – they need to outline processes for various natural disasters, the key stakeholders at all levels, and required actions for each. The director should really approve these things before they go public as she should know better! They definitely need to commit to things like response times for each district and ensure personnel to do so. Outline standard levels on everything including how they handle the coming of aid. Keep the politics out of it. Outline strategy around local supplies so aid isn’t as urgent of a need. The draft was not ready for public viewing – it makes the government look incompetent. Also the way DDM communicates also needs work!

  7. wongchichi says:

    I’m a little confused are you talking about a disaster response plan or a recovery plan? Because i thought this story is about the recovery plan after we already responded to the disaster. I could be wrong though so let me know so I don’t look incompetent.

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