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Hurricane debris will be shipped out the Territory- Hon Skelton

- company to move most of the debris by June 2018
A towering pile of hurricane debris at Cox Heath, Tortola, today, February 8, 2018. Photo: VINO
A section of the hurricane debris at Cox Heath, Tortola. Photo: VINO
A section of the hurricane debris at Cox Heath, Tortola. Photo: VINO
Minister for Health and Social Development Hon Ronnie W. Skelton (AL), right, and Second District Representative Hon Melvin M. Turnbull, left, at the Consultation Meeting on the Recovery and Development Plan at Cane Garden Bay Baptist Church on February 6, 2018. Photo: VINO
Minister for Health and Social Development Hon Ronnie W. Skelton (AL), right, and Second District Representative Hon Melvin M. Turnbull, left, at the Consultation Meeting on the Recovery and Development Plan at Cane Garden Bay Baptist Church on February 6, 2018. Photo: VINO
The 'mountain' of debris at Cox Heath that continees to be added to on a daily basis. Photo: VINO
The 'mountain' of debris at Cox Heath that continees to be added to on a daily basis. Photo: VINO
CANE GARDEN BAY, Tortola, VI- The issue of the tonnes of debris piling up in the Territory was addressed when Minister of Health and Social Development, Hon Ronnie W. Skelton (AL), made his remarks at the Second District consultation meeting on the Recovery and Development Plan, on the evening of Tuesday February 6, 2018 at the Cane Garden Bay Methodist Church.

The minister said, “The debris that you are seeing hauled from all parts of this country…. I understand that from the last count we have about 25 – 40 thousand cubic yards of debris. Some can be shipped out with the metal and derelict vehicles.”

The passage of the two category 5 hurricanes in September of 2017 destroyed about 75% of the homes and littered the territory with various kinds of debris. As the debris was cleared from buildings and roadways it was taken to the dumpsite at Cox Heath.

However, according to Hon Skelton, the debris will be removed from Tortola.

“We have the operator, a company here on the ground, that is working to remove these debris out of the country. Hopefully by June a substantial amount of it should be gone.”

Hon Skelton did not say where the debris is being taken.

This is, nevertheless, much to the relief of residents who were concerned that the debris would act as projectiles in the event of strong winds, as in the case of another hurricane. There is also the concern of a major fire breaking out at the dumpsite.

Some 500 derelict vehicles collected

Minister Skelton also stated that they Government was able to collect about 500 derelict vehicles, however, there are still a lot more to be collected. This he said will be done, “but the process to collect derelict vehicles is a long process and in this recovery, time is of the essence.”

Talking about the debris still on the hillside, Hon Skelton had said in the Third District Consultancy Meeting held January 30, 2018 that the growth of trees now makes the task of removing the debris virtually impossible. “We were going to offer people $5 a sheet or $5 per tonne of material to bring to some location. But, as you can see, nature has rotated the plan and we are still thinking of other possibilities,” he had explained.

Meanwhile persons removing debris from their buildings and surroundings are encouraged to take them to the Cox Heath location and to do so as soon as possible to aid in the reduction of pests and vermin.

The minister added that, “We are making preparation to come up with a piece of legislation, a disaster recovery piece of legislation, so that we can address a lot of these problems that you are seeing and basically explaining to us that these things need to be done, but it cannot be done with the present set of legislation in place,” Hon Skelton explained.

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