By anguillian October 16, 2017 10:40




With a number of officials from the UK Government and the Department for International Development (DFID) having been in Anguilla to see the severe damage done to school buildings – and other infrastructure – by Hurricane Irma, Government officials are hoping to easily and quickly obtain financial assistance for the rebuilding of the education facilities.
A tripartite meeting to that effect was held at the Ministry of Social Development on Monday, October 9. The Government of Anguilla was represented by the Minister of Education, Mrs. Cora Richardson-Hodge; Permanent Secretary, Dr. Bonnie Richardson-Lake; Chief Education Officer, Mrs. Rhonda Connor; Education Services Planner, Mrs. Dawn Reid and from the Department of Infrastructure, the Director of Housing and Construction, Mr Rawle Hazell, and the Building Engineer, Mr. Claudius Gumbs.

Speaking afterwards to The Anguillian, Minister Cora Richardson-Hodge had this to say:

“We met with representatives of DFID, and a representative of the UK Office, with respect to issues concerning the schools. As you know, a number of schools were damaged and several buildings had to be demolished because they were unsafe for our children.

“One of the things that we were keen on was identifying and confirming our sources of financial assistance to be able to assist in rebuilding the schools as soon as possible. We were also aware that two schools had undergone severe damage – which are Campus A of the Albena Lake-Hodge Comprehensive School where a significant number of the buildings had to be demolished; and the Morris Vanterpool Primary School which had to be relocated.

“We had an interesting meeting with these officials and outlined what our issues were – the fact that although some of the buildings had to be demolished, they were part of a phase 2 and phase 3 plan of action in terms of rebuilding the schools. A determination has been made by our MICU personnel that, given the amount of cost and exertion it would have taken to be able to restructure those buildings, it made more sense to demolish them since they were not consistent with our phase out programme of development of the schools in any event.

“The discussions were fruitful and we are expected to provide further information to the British officials. We are in the process of collating all the detailed information such as the cost of rebuilding the schools and the repairing of others. The long term goal is to replace all the zinc roofs with concrete roofs – and we are looking for funding to assist us with that effort.
“Some of the rebuilding can be done with Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance funds. CCRIP funds have been used so far in terms of a lot of our rebuilding efforts [in the past]. For other cases, we will need different sources of funding whether from EDF or DFID etc. We are looking at all of those avenues, and we will be making the necessary applications and having discussions along those lines.”

Asked about the response of the UK officials, the Anguillian Minister of Education replied: “I think the UK Parliament will be looking forward to receiving our information by the end of the month. It is a matter for us to finalise that information and to send it to them.”

By anguillian October 16, 2017 10:40


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