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2017 hurricane aid distribution to be investigated!

Head of the Community Relations Department and Disaster Coordinator for the Royal Grenada Police Force, Superintendent Sylvan McIntyre, left, will visit the VI in the next two weeks to conduct the audit financed by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA). Director of the Department of Disaster Management (DDM), Sharlene S. Dabreo, right, previously defended that the relief food items were evenly distributed and everyone got a fair opportunity to assess them. Photo: GIS/VINO
Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc on the Virgin Islands on September 6, 2017, leaving many homeless, without food, clothing and water. Photo: VINO/File
Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc on the Virgin Islands on September 6, 2017, leaving many homeless, without food, clothing and water. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Residents, non-governmental organisations and the media have been overwhelmed with allegations that the aid coming to the Virgin Islands (VI) following the two devastating hurricanes, Irma and Maria, that destroyed the islands in September of 2017 had transparent distribution issues.

On January 12, 2018 the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) announced “that the processes used to distribute aid to the affected communities throughout the Territory following the impacts of hurricanes” are to be audited.

Head of the Community Relations Department and Disaster Coordinator for the Royal Grenada Police Force, Superintendent Sylvan McIntyre will visit the VI in the next two weeks to conduct the audit financed by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA).

McIntyre, who is a former National Disaster Coordinator in Grenada, is also a key member of the Regional Response Team and serves as a critical member of the Regional Needs Assessment Team that supports country level response operations. He has been with the CDEMA mechanism for over 15 years, according to the local DDM statement.

The rumor mill on distributions

There have been reports and allegations that elected officials were giving items only to their supporters, workers were allegedly stealing relief supplies, many of the goods were left to spoil and that one politician was selling items at a place of business.

It was even said that DDM workers had stacks of aid at their homes and that you only got supplies depending on who you were, what party you supported and who you knew. Government has denied any knowledge of these allegations and it is hoped that the audit will unearth the truth.

Some residents also complained that they were not aware where the distribution centers were, and who they had to approach to obtain items.

Others claimed they were treated with disrespect from aid distribution center workers, including elected officials, who allegedly asked “why were some of you in the lines for items.”

Many residents had expressed publicly that they preferred all international and local aid and even money to be given to local non-governmental organisations such and the BVI Red Cross, Rotary Clubs and churches.

They wanted the distribution of goods and other aid out of the hands of the politicians.

There is a general mistrust of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) Government.

Why the investigation?

McIntyre stated, “It is important that the BVI fully document the steps taken in its relief distribution programmes launched following the impacts from three unprecedented events. A significant amount of aid was provided and must be accounted for. The audit being applied is intended to fully document the steps taken and to provide recommendations on how the process can be improved to ensure effective delivery to the intended beneficiaries for future,” according to the press statement distributed by the Government Information Services late last week.

41 Responses to “2017 hurricane aid distribution to be investigated!”

  • wet (16/01/2018, 18:54) Like (28) Dislike (4) Reply
    Yes all the rumors are true
  • wize up (16/01/2018, 19:23) Like (14) Dislike (5) Reply
    what a shame: we had a set thieves breaking into people business place and those in so called authority tampering with the distribution of aid: BVI what a world
  • concern (16/01/2018, 20:04) Like (17) Dislike (3) Reply
    Yes it was nasty it was who u are if u are Tolan it's OK but if u were from Caribbean country they look at u like why u here some remarks was made why them downisland people don't go an leave the stuff for us we will get more when u go to the distribution center they saying nothing today tomm when people go next day it the other day and guess what u can see they person who distribute these food family are there loading the vehicle to go very sad
  • wise up (16/01/2018, 20:20) Like (15) Dislike (3) Reply
    I couldn’t even find a distribution Centre,all I saw was all the stuff people are donating from around the world.luckely I have survival skills.Masha Allah
  • too late (16/01/2018, 20:27) Like (11) Dislike (7) Reply
    The stuff are being distributed now since a audit is on the way. Next time put the donated items in the hands of BVI Red Cross.
  • Roofless (16/01/2018, 21:00) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    After several government announcements I queued at the Multi purpose sports Centre for 4 hours for tarps that never appeared. Meanwhile unannounced some were being handed out of a small truck by the softball pitch. As the MPC was a shelter the managers were incensed that people were crowding in and knew nothing about the distribution telling us to go away. Calls were made to DDMvokunteers who admitted they had no idea where the tarps were or if they would show. As a result I lost tens of thousands of internal furniture and fittings which would have been saved if the aid tarps had been promptly distributed. Big fat fail in my opinion. Oh and to weeks ago I see a UK aid tarp covering something near Bobby’s roundabout, clearly stolen as rain protection for construction work/supplies/equipment
  • Observer (16/01/2018, 21:05) Like (2) Dislike (8) Reply
    I worked at a distribution center. I know of a fact that some of the allegations are true. I know for a fact that locals were given preference over persons who are not from here. I honestly did not give it much thought then because i said to myself "you know when you are in another man's country these things happen" Further more isn't it the way here that locals come first? I was even embarassed when a known local called out to persons in line "look at them Tolans rich they don't have to go in line they could buy what they want You can't really blame the local persons who were the distributors. They were just doing what has been done for years "locals first"
    • So (17/01/2018, 10:35) Like (3) Dislike (5) Reply
      It is a matter of survival. Expats were given the option and means to evacuate to their home countries which were not affected by this historical and monumental disaster.If they choose to stay it meant that they could make it in the Vi without taking away from locals whose only option was to stay in the pit. Some folks are like insects. No conscience no heart only to swarm and be parasites until the host becomes useless and without an ounce of shame. In the end they continue to be benefit. They never learn.
  • zoe (16/01/2018, 21:29) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    The way these people behave was sad..
  • Lait 521 (16/01/2018, 21:31) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Don't forget you have to give some in the bvi ec on the road a little Pam greasing
  • tola (16/01/2018, 22:49) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    Yes anything else please don't put government official in it please use red cross and rotary. Red cross did amazing with people and dealt good with people too. Thank God this investigation going on it was wickedness
  • It is alledged (16/01/2018, 23:35) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
    Sister truck was used to deliver all the goods
    • EYE opener (17/01/2018, 00:37) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      Truth!!!... As well as supplies in abundance!! She greased her sibling & husband palm GOOD!
    • Search warrants (17/01/2018, 07:34) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
      Hope they get search warrants. Heard a lot of the security people took the best of Aids. The lights, The coolers etc...
    • Search warrants (17/01/2018, 07:34) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Hope they get search warrants. Heard a lot of the security people took the best of Aids. The lights, The coolers etc...
    • Street Reporter. Bad News. (17/01/2018, 07:49) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
      From the Streets.... 9 out of 10 people got no confidence in DDM. ...8 out of 10 people got no confidence in Govt. 9 our of 10 people think members of the Govt. Are greedy, and is looking for ways to help themselves with the aid money...... 7 out of 10 people think the recovery is too slow.....Here is the Ticklish one. 9 out of 10 business people think Cane Garden Bay should have been give first or top Priority in the Recovery because its the Cash Cow of the tourist industry...However, 6 out of 10 people think that an optional site or another beach site for tourist is needed. Not Brandy Wine Bay....8 out of 10 people want a change....5 out of 10 people Need VIP....5 Out of 10 people need a new party....News from the Streets..keeping it real.. The real people..
  • Yes (17/01/2018, 05:55) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    The person coming to do the audit and her are best friends tho. The audit is bullshit ppl.
  • Flatbush USA (17/01/2018, 07:16) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    The BVIs should now accept the fact that it can no longer exist in its own cacoon, Whether it is the UK or not someone will tell us what to do, how to do it and where to go to do it. This is so, even if we become independent and aquire the status of self determination ( some politicians are trying to fool us by saying otherwise) We will be governed not only by local, but by international laws in the way we do business in matters of Tourism and Financial Services ( those two were deliberately mentioned). Here again, our actions are being investigated by an outside source and there is simply nothing we could do about it.
  • Just Woke. Good News (17/01/2018, 07:32) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    This is really good news. Hope its Genuine and not a sham or a cloud... I live in a Yard of two huge apartments everyone got damage and none of us because I asked seeing anyone from disaster management come by... Maybe because we are all Xpats. For that reason we leave it alone. So thia is good news. Expose the lies..
    • Think again (17/01/2018, 09:49) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Many many locals did not receive either. People assumed they were well off and could manage. Very far from the truth. So sorry darling expats were not the only ones left out
  • Gumption.officail (17/01/2018, 08:50) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    I’m still missing 5 generators that’s was purchased on November 1st 2017 and sent to MIAMI port the following day that positivity boarded a barge that went to the Virgin Islands. The doners been asking and think their fed up now.
  • yes man (17/01/2018, 09:17) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    It is true. And how the hell did it happen? The supplies mostly 'vanished' or weren't there for the people.
    Some were, and some were provided by private people and churches. But the big shipments were flown by
    British helicoptors to the distribution points and then weren't distributed by the local side of it. Sick.
  • BVI people (17/01/2018, 09:19) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    Give sharline a break she did her best at the time. Her staff almost lost their lives in that old building at McNamara
    • who (17/01/2018, 10:45) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      by giving her family jobs to distribute things to the centers and not even half of them reach
      • Hush (17/01/2018, 13:14) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
        Why dont you shut up if you don't know anything. You all just make people stomach sick with your foolishness. Utter BS the police drove behind those truck when they were distributing so how could they have not gotton there. When you don't know anything its best to just shut your mouth
  • District 5 (17/01/2018, 09:36) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    In District 5 it seemed as if it was very bad. I believe the Representative was deceived by those she put in charge of distribution because many did not get at all. It was not about local or non local. It seems like who was favoured. I hope the investigators get to the root of what happened in the 5th District. Very disappointing.
  • Yaadddd (17/01/2018, 10:31) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    Not even one Jamaican get aid. So were did the aid from Jamaica went, ??????
  • jokers (17/01/2018, 10:33) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Make sure you check them who was running the one by Elite.
  • B Savage (17/01/2018, 10:40) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    This BIG FACE webnch will sya anything for this government especially whatever they tell her to say. FOOl
  • bvi lost (17/01/2018, 10:43) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    yes who you are and who you know. I had great loss with no insurance and I was told I am not qualify.
  • Jack Rabbit (17/01/2018, 10:51) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    There was no means of communication. There was no means of transportation. No electricity.No one going door to door dropping a generator a tarp and non perishable food on each doorstep.
    There were plenty non prepared for the inevitable waiting on Gov and handouts which is the new norm. Bet for the next disaster they will still be there waiting solely on Gov.
  • To tola (17/01/2018, 10:54) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    the red cross had a lady did not even let me get into the door she told me go to social development. not even a candy I got from red cross
  • good (17/01/2018, 14:35) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Not BVI Red Cross. They asked me so much questions to get a Mosquito net, how much money I making how much children I have if I have a husband ,how much money he making etc. And in the end I was turn away sad.
  • Truth (17/01/2018, 15:58) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Something went dreadfully wrong in the BVI, a lot of people did not know about the locations to get aid and by the time you go they ask you if you register and ask you a set of questions about your household. My mom is shut in and I had to leave her and go beg for a piece of tarp (I actually needed two pieces) they told me I could only get one. Something wrong especially in the 7th and eight district, one set of family. I later on came into town, inquiring and no one can tell me whats happening and I don't think it matter who you were because I from here but I was left out. Another thing, some of us live in areas away from the main roads and heard nothing about aid/help. Something needs to be done differently.
  • Hmm (17/01/2018, 16:52) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    @two late yes the red cross did an amazing job but some of the staff was also stealing the things to give there family that y the red cross let some of there go as in resigned. People not easy
  • island man (17/01/2018, 18:48) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Above all I commend the West End team who were distributing items at the Police station WN for their fair kindness in dealing with everyone during a time of desperation.
    But East End!!! Huu
  • VG Resident (18/01/2018, 05:39) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I know for a fact that there are rooms full of supplies that never got distributed.. We were supposed to just watch them not have them. For usage.. Sad state... Then one of the kingpin working to share items say she talking them to her shop that has been damaged after hours.
  • Say what ya want (18/01/2018, 20:21) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Privatize DDM. I tuned in every day to find the closest distribution center in my area after Irma. Zbvi announced distribution - went there not a trailer, no officer, just a line of desperate ppl with children that had to go home with nothing after waiting for hourssssssssssss.

    I honestly believe those distribution announcements on the radio and online news were only to make it seem to the outside world that things were under control but IT WAS NOT!

    And if Ms Dabreo knew about cat 5 storms and her compromised building she should of use wisdom and find shelter in a more secure building. She put herself and staff in danger.

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