China helping to re-roof Barbuda houses



Recovery on Barbuda will be further boosted with the launch of a US$2million China Aid Post Disaster Restoration initiative, implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the National Office of Disaster Services (NODS).

This latest effort aims to restore lives with high standard roofing reconstruction on homes and priority buildings, including government facilities.

Marked by a high-level Barbuda event, the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbuda Council officials, the Embassy of China and delegates of UNDP Caribbean region, will attend a ceremony on Friday to hand over a donation of roofing materials provided to build back up to 250 structures that received minor damage.

The houses of essential staff – teachers, medical personnel, civil servants, will be prioritized and eligibility criteria have been defined to determine the selection of houses to be repaired.

The first shipment of timber for roofing repairs, shipped from Barbados via Antigua, arrived at River Wharf in Barbuda by barge on January 14, filling a gap in material shortage with a generous portion donated to the Hannah Thomas Hospital to fix the hurricane-damaged roof. “Thank you, thank you to the Chinese Government and the UN – now we can finish fixing the clinic,” said NODS appointed contractor, Mr. Edmunson Charles, of Charles Contractors.

Together with NODS, UNDP has been on the ground since October to prepare for and facilitate the roofing repairs in Barbuda by the end of June 2018. This included a comprehensive Building Damage Assessment in November 2017, which allowed to undertake a detailed survey of every building in Barbuda and determine the level of damage.

Contractors confirmed that UNDP presence on the ground in Barbuda monitoring quality control of this recovery initiative has given builders and residents a lot of hope and a better understanding of the recovery process.

“We are here to support you, and stay for the long run,” UNDP Regional Director of the Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean, Jessica Faieta, told Prime Minister Gaston Browne on a recent visit.

The Government of China and UNDP have joined forces to support not only the island of Barbuda, but also Dominica, and the two initiatives are being implemented in parallel under  the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund”.

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