Minister of Communication and Works Mark Vanterpool, who proudly supported a recent decision to refuse help from a Royal Navy ship when a tropical wave devastated parts of the territory last month, indicated that he is now willing to put aside the usual self-reliant attitude and ask for assistance.
He made the comment after category 5 hurricanes Irma and Maria caused unprecedented damage to local homes, businesses, and overall infrastructure.
“We are a resilient people. We try to live our own lives as best we can without asking for help, but this time we need help and we’re asking for whatever help we can get, anywhere.”
The minister however suggested that the territory will not seek help more than is necessary.
“Get us up off the ground and then we’ll take it from there. But we need help to get up and go,” Vanterpool further said while he sent out the SOS during a broadcast on local radio this week.
Since the hurricanes, the British Virgin Islands has been getting help from various countries, including the United Kingdom.
The secretary of the United Kingdom department responsible for administering overseas aid, Priti Pate, visited the territory and promised further help.
Considering that visit, Vanterpool said: “We were pleased that she came to visit us and paid attention especially to the area that most of us depend on to get our businesses and our daily lives back up, which is the electricity grid. She pledged that she’ll do all that she can to help in that direction.”