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Consultation period for recovery plan ‘way too short’- Dr Natalio D. Wheatley

- said demands have to be made for Gov’t to hold meetings with stakeholders
Social commentator and President of the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Dr Natalio D. Wheatley aka Sowande Uhuru has said the National Democratic Party (NDP) Government is just paying lip service to the whole process of consultation over the National Recovery Plan. Photo: Facebook
Government had said in the proposed recovery and development plan that roughly $721M will be needed to restore the territory over the next five years. Photo: VINO/File
Government had said in the proposed recovery and development plan that roughly $721M will be needed to restore the territory over the next five years. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Amid criticisms that the public was snubbed in the formulation of the initial document, the National Democratic Party (NDP) Government in late December 2017 published on the Government official website a draft of the post hurricanes Irma and Maria recovery plans, along with the floods of August 2017, to allow the public to make an input.

The consultation period is from December 20, 2017 to January 20, 2018 and the public has been advised to submit contributions to the plan via email or hard copy, with no mention of direct meetings with the people.

This has drawn criticism from social commentator and President of the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Dr Natalio D. Wheatley aka Sowande Uhuru, who appeared as a guest on the first airing of BVI Have Your Say on CBN 90.9 FM Radio on Wednesday January 3, 2018 with host Doug Wheatley.

Way too short

“I think we have started off on the wrong foot there. The consultation period is too short, way too short. We can’t say that we want to consult the public but we just paying lip service to the whole process of consultation.

“I know that we want to get up and running, we are action people, but action must be informed by thought, by ideas…effective, sound ideas.”

Government had said in the proposed recovery and development plan that roughly $721M will be needed to restore the territory over the next five years.

“$721M is a lot of money and we don’t want to get it wrong as we have gotten it wrong in the past,” Dr Wheatley said in lamenting the short window for the public to make its input to the recovery plans for the Virgin Islands following the destruction of floods and hurricanes in August and September 2017.

No meetings?

“The next this is they are asking persons to submit comments by email or by hard copy and just deliver it to the office. There has been no mention of meetings…I would be happy if they even consider meetings with stakeholders. You can’t just have government bureaucrats in a room speaking about the economy.”

Dr Wheatley added that the stakeholders to be consulted with should include persons who are involved in business and would be impacted in a number of ways… He said similarly, in education, there needs to be meetings with parents, teachers and even those retired.

“So we need some meetings and I am not sure exactly how we make that intervention but we have to make some demands of Government to have meetings with stakeholders in every sector, every sector of human activity as it relates to this recovery,” Dr Wheatley commented.

14 Responses to “Consultation period for recovery plan ‘way too short’- Dr Natalio D. Wheatley”

  • Yes (06/01/2018, 10:01) Like (9) Dislike (12) Reply
    Can anyone point out where Sowande was ever happy with anything? You have been in more parties than dj Dre. Get your act together, bring some meaningful solutuons, get some stuff done instead of always being negative. No matter what was in that plan he wouldnt be satisfied and its all political nonsense. A govt is elected every 4 years yet we want them to consult the polulace on everything. When will they ever get shit done if they were to do that? As if things arent moving slow enough?
    • @LOL (06/01/2018, 12:29) Like (13) Dislike (5) Reply
      That’s why people like you get no where. Sowande is not the one making bad decisions and planning. It’s the dam government. That’s the negative you should address before you future start looking like dry shitte.
      • Hmph (06/01/2018, 15:21) Like (8) Dislike (7) Reply
        it is difficult to take a man that uses a made up pretend african sounding name seriously
  • cay (06/01/2018, 10:24) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    what is new here this is how the NDP behaves
  • See (06/01/2018, 10:28) Like (19) Dislike (1) Reply
    Do NOT NOT allow any of this money go to the airport fiasco . We already threw away 7 million plus on an imaginary airline with NOTHING to show it . This recovery money should be used for just that .... recovery . Roads , electric , schools , debris removal including vehicles , and aid to the people who are displaced out of their homes and businesses , and maybe just maybe bring in a human being who has even the slighest knowledge of sewage and sewage logistics . Our capital has been polluted long enough I believe . Use these monies wisely please and not for BS political projects
  • weed (06/01/2018, 11:28) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    More TALK. No action. sigh
  • mbm (06/01/2018, 12:58) Like (20) Dislike (1) Reply
    I totally agree with more public meetings on everything. If they were done district by district, priorities could be identified and residents could get involved for a better solution. It is not all business and profit, but quality of life.
    One project that NEEDS PUBLIC INPUT is the offer by OBMI to rebuild the West End ferry dock. Everyone agrees it has to happen, but how. Let's not have a big developer put a big project in the middle of a small community focused on charters. OBMI renovated Little Dix and built Scrub Island. Can their architects design something appropriate for Sopers Hole without dredging 1/3 of the harbour or taking 20-30 moorings? The are volunteering staff but where is the rest of the money coming from? If emergency relief, then the people HAVE to have a seat at the table.
    This project is too important and is the front door telling people they are in the BVI- not Red Hook, Miami, or Dubai.
    The Premier "can't wait to see the plans". Will they be published for the public to comment on? The last effort was priced at at least $40 mil and was a huge complex with offices, restaurant, VIP lounge, conveyor belt, cafe, atrium of wasted space. Just make it efficient to do the job, attractive to fit with other architecture, and functional. There is no space for anything else. HOLD PUBLIC MEETINGS. THEY HAVE TO LIVE WITH THE TRAFFIC AND CONSTRUCTION.
  • Concerned VG (06/01/2018, 17:38) Like (9) Dislike (2) Reply
    I totally agree with Dr. Wheatley, the time is too short. Although our ninth District Rep is boasting about VG recovering quickly, was there any representation on the Recovery committee for the sister Islands? I bet you not. Where in that recovery plan is anything mentioned about any of the sister islands? What about the issues in Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost van Dykes ? when will they be addressed after hurricane "Whatever"? What about the Garbage, Water, Electricity, Shelters, among other issues affecting virgin Gorda? Any plans for Virgin Gorda to have its own electricity source? Any plans for Virgin Gorda to have its own incinerator? Any plans of Virgin Gorda being relieved of its water woes? Am sure both Anegada and Jost have their own sets of issues. Where in the recovery plan is any mention of issues on the sister Islands? These are questions the populace would like to deal with face to face. Who is kidding whom?
  • VIP all the way (06/01/2018, 19:09) Like (5) Dislike (4) Reply
    Mr. President no not mind the haters keep doing your do
    • pete (06/01/2018, 20:29) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
      Mr. President, keep it real and democratic. keep the people informed. We have a right to know. thank you.
  • Bold (07/01/2018, 18:11) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    The days of slavemaster coming to the abandoned plantation to tell our people as slaves what to do is over!!!
    • PoliTICal CoMmEnTAtoR (08/01/2018, 08:01) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      BuT tHose DAyS aRe cominG bAck if wE ARE nOt caREfUll
  • Socrates (07/01/2018, 23:01) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Clearly, this recovery plan is a done deal and the request for comment by either email or hard copy is just a sham to check a block. Does anyone believe that any changes will be made to the plan? Is email or hard copy the best method of getting real and thorough feedback? Would not townhall meetings in all districts or combined districts as suggested by another blogger be a better way to engage residents? Think that government members are afraid and shame to come face to face with residents given their poor performance after Hurricane Irma ams Maria hit the BVI? Or they just do not give a rat’s ass about what residents thinks? Are residents cultivating and encouraging this behaviour? Should residents demand town hall meetings and a longer response period? Are BVI residents too nonchalant?
  • WowWow (08/01/2018, 07:06) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Instead of just developing a recovery plan for the country they included development as a bundle package. So they using Hurricane Money to move Government Assets to the public and secure a future for themselves in and out of office and money that would have not be available under any other circumstances they want to use that to put their political agenda into play. Not economic or BVI Agenda, Political. Our destruction comes at a benefit for them. This is nothing short of high treason. I bet the bottom dollar they already had their meetings and decided who get what contracts and the amount of administrative fees. Governor stop playing games with these people and make sure the money every cent get to the people. The real people who pay taxes and expect their Government to help them.

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