His Excellency Dr Irfaan Ali said that his Government is working on devising a comprehensive post-flood package that will be delivered to every flood-affected community.
President Ali made the announcement at the handing-over ceremony of 30 tractors to indigenous communities in regions 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, and 9 at the Hinterland Scholarship Dormitory in Liliendaal today.
The Head of State told the toshaos and representatives from the regions that in addition to resources being transferred to the communities at the end of last year, “we are now working on a comprehensive investment package, a post-flood package that would be delivered to every community in every region that has been affected by the floods”.
He reiterated that the Government is committed to ensuring that farmers get back to their lands and will continue working with them and the sector to restore its productivity. This commitment, he noted, will be further enhanced with the recently-approved $10B supplementary provision.
The President also explained that the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) is finalising a report to show the real value, in terms of dollars, of the destruction and displacement caused by the recent floods across the country. When the assessment is completed, the Government will reorganise and reprioritise expenditure to target the most severely affected communities and farmers to bring direct benefits.
“So I want to assure you and farmers all across the country, and this is not only for farmers, the assessment will also cover households, small businesses and community losses. As you’re aware, the infrastructure in many communities have been severely affected, the mining sector, forestry sector have all been severely affected, so we are now completing that assessment and on the completion, those investments will have to be made. So today, as we deliver on this promise I assure you that better days are ahead, more vibrant days are ahead.”
President Ali also reiterated that the Government is committed to working with residents from the communities on developing strategies, plans and projects that will directly address the needs and priorities of the respective communities.
He stressed that such plans and programmes cannot be developed “in a back office of any ministry” but must be developed with collaboration from the people and leaders in the communities so that ownership can be created.