CARIBBEAN NETHERLANDS – Statia’s Reconstruction Team moves steadily ahead with its task to rebuild St. Eustatius following the recent passage of hurricanes Maria and Irma. Two shipments of building material have already arrived on the island, the Team continued rounds of consultations with home owners and contracts with local contractors are set to be signed.
On Thursday November 2nd a meeting was held with home owners in the Mike van Putten Youth Centre in Concordia. Homeowners were informed about the follow up of the reconstruction process. With the exception of the most severe vulnerable cases – less fortunate; persons with home insurance will not classify under the recovery assistance of the Reconstruction Project. Home owners were asked to spread the word in order for residents to register their damage as soon as possible. Also present was Mrs. Raquel Spanner of the Unit of Social Affairs who informed the public more about the durable goods programme.
Acting Island Governor Mr. Julian Woodley stressed the importance of rebuilding stronger and more resilient in order to be able to withstand future hurricanes, while Project Manager Mr. Mel Raboen de Sanchez Pacheco informed about collaboration with the New Challenges Foundation granting youths, who previously came into contact with legal authorities, the opportunity to become socially involved in the rebuilding process. It is important that these young people get a second chance in life and feel once again accepted within society so that they stay on the right path. This project can be really supportive to this end. “It is important to mention that the reconstruction of Statia is something that affects us all. Therefore, some social initiatives will also be undertaken and carried out to make this beautiful island of Statia even more beautiful, let’s do us do this together, the rebuilding of Statia comes from the heart“, according to Mr. Raboen de Sanchez Pacheco.
The Project Manager further informed the gathering that local contractors will start rebuilding St. Eustatius soon. When the contracts are signed at the end of this week the first phase of rebuilding the island begins officially. Contractors will have a period of three months to complete the first homes of those persons who were hit hardest. Furthermore he indicated the importance of The Lions Club for St. Eustatius, which is used for many activities. Socially it is an essential pillar he concluded. Therefore the necessary materials for repairs of the damage to the building of the Lion’s Den will be provided by the Dutch central government.