DEPUTY GOVERNOR WRITES TO ANGUILLA PUBLIC SERVANTS

anguillian
By anguillian October 23, 2017 11:27

 

The Hon. Deputy Governor, Mr. Perin Bradley has communicated the following to members of the Anguilla Public Service:

Colleagues,

It has been just over a month since the passage of Hurricane Irma brought Anguilla to what some less-optimistic nations may refer to as a startling halt. I have seen, in the aftermath of this storm, an incredible display of the strength, unity and hope that are the foundation of our community.

In the days following the passage of the storm, public servants showed their true abilities as unsung heroes. I want to take the time out to publically acknowledge the hard work and dedication exhibited by the staff at the Department of Disaster Management and members of the National Disaster Management Committee. I would like to thank the hard-working and dedicated public servants for ensuring that we were able to return the salvageable government buildings to functionality through the expedited removal of debris caused by the hurricane.

Many of you have shown commitment to your responsibilities, even when faced with grave personal loss. I want to also thank each one of you for continuing to engage in your work duties and obligations despite your own losses. It is hard to meet workplace requirements when your own hierarchy of needs are not being met. Remember, too, that it is important to take time to reflect on your Hurricane Irma experience and prioritize your own mental health as we work together through the aftermath. In an effort to restore the people of Anguilla to a sense of normalcy and foster effective coping mechanisms after the impact of Hurricane Irma, the Department of Disaster Management Psychosocial Support Committee will be conducting a series of psychosocial support activities. If you would like to attend these sessions, please indicate your interest to your head of department.

Every one of us has been touched by this devastating storm in one way or another, yet we still make it to work each day. It is difficult to see not only our homes, but also our workplaces destroyed in its path. Our environments, both at home and at work, have been altered severely and we are all working together to adjust to this new normal. I want to commend you for your sacrifices and patience as departments now work in shared spaces with limited power and internet capabilities. We can turn this experience to a positive one by taking this opportunity to strengthen ties with other departments. I want you to know that I appreciate your understanding and flexibility as we move forward.

In the interim, I’ve asked Permanent Secretaries and Department Heads to identify public officers who are currently displaced, untasked, or underutilized to assist in the collection household damage data, post Irma. This is a crucial activity which triggers the cash distributions of the U.K’s Department for International Development, the British Red Cross, and the Government of Anguilla to aid those in need. We need all hands on deck to aid in this recovery. Persons within our community, including relatives and friends, have suffered greatly and the quicker we get this done, the quicker we can get them the necessary relief.

In relation to the damages sustained by the various government buildings, The Ministry of Infrastructure has conducted assessments and we are currently working on securing temporary office space for displaced departments, by October 25th. This short-term solution is being done with the view in mind that we will secure a long-term resolution. As such, we are currently in active discussions to secure the former National Bank of Anguilla Building as the new government headquarters. With support from the Department for International Development in the U.K, we have received twenty generators, to power essential sectors like the schools, health facilities, and the desalination plant at the Crocus Bay.

In further efforts to re-establish normalcy for government offices, DITES has completed an assessment of damages sustained to all Government IT equipment resulting from the passage of Hurricane Irma. Fortunately, we did not receive any major damage at the data center, but we did lose some wireless equipment used to connect certain government offices. We are trying our best to salvage and replace as much equipment as we can so that we can get the offices with electricity up back to functional state to resume all IT services to all remote locations by October 20th. Once all IT services have been fully restored, efforts will be placed on strengthening the resiliency of the Government’s IT services so as to ensure that Government’s data can be properly protected during the event of any future major disaster.

As we progress towards normalcy in the weeks ahead, use the close working quarters to build plans within your department toward our shared goal: building a better Anguilla through a more robust public infrastructure. It is my high hope that we would have fully restored public services before the end of this month.

Now, more than ever, we must give thanks for job security; others in the community are not as fortunate. We must remain grateful for Anguilla, though severely damaged, is still faring better than other islands in the wake of the Atlantic Hurricane Season. Now that we have battened down, weathered the storm, and opened our shutters to find the Anguilla we love broken but not beaten, we can band together and truly say we are out to build a new Anguilla.

Kind Regards,

Perin A. Bradley

anguillian
By anguillian October 23, 2017 11:27

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