Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 17, 2018 (SKNIS): Five hundred and eighty one families in St. Kitts have benefited thus far from the government’s Post Hurricane Relief Programme, which was introduced to assist residents with home repairs resulting from damages caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season.


At his monthly press conference on Tuesday (July 17), Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris updated the nation on the progress of the programme that has significantly impacted the lives of hundreds of persons.


“Our Hurricane Relief Programme has so far assisted 473 families with materials and labour costs across the length and breadth of St. Kitts,” Dr. Harris said. “To date we have spent over $3.5 million to help put our people’s homes in a better position in 2018 than they were in the aftermath of the hurricanes. Additionally, I am pleased to report 108 persons received concessions on materials totalling in aggregate just over $1 million.”


The prime minister added that new homes are also being constructed for Yuta Hodge and Renelle Taylor as their homes were rendered uninhabitable after the hurricanes.


The response by the government is largely influenced by a multi-disciplinary Hurricane Rehabilitation Committee made up of representatives from the National Emergency Management Agency, the Building Board, the Ministries of Finance, and Sustainable Development, the Departments of Social Development, and Public Works, the Office of the Prime Minister, and the private sector. Fourteen members served on the committee, which is led by Osbert DeSuza, Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister.


In recognising the “excellent” work being done by the committee, the prime minister also took the time to applaud the efforts of the field officers, singling out Vince “Tokey Mathew, Christophe Greaux, Kevin “Ninky” Williams, Rhon Boddie, Warren Thompson and Eugene Dias.


Many homeowners have publicly thanked the government for the assistance, which some explained was quite timely given that the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season began on June 01, 2018. In a previous press release, Petrona Thomas said: “I am so grateful for this new initiative that this government has implemented to restore not only my roof in Middle Island but the whole nation as a whole.” Cozel Browne of Keys Village similarly expressed “We greatly appreciate what they [the government] are doing for the community of Keys.”


Prime Minister Harris said that residents from St. Paul’s to Basseterre via Cayon, and Basseterre to Newton Ground via Old Road have benefited from the initiative. He added: “the commendation recorded and aired from the beneficiaries of this relief are excellent testimonies of the great appreciation of our people for the excellent work being done by the government on behalf of our people.”


The Post Hurricane Relief Programme is expected to close shortly.