The Cabinet of Antigua & Barbuda has reversed an earlier decision to restrict clean-up and restoration work in Barbuda to solely Barbudans.
After convening on Wednesday, the Cabinet decided to allow the National Office of Disaster Services (NODS) and the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) to hire any “person living in Antigua, regardless of place of birth” who has interest in employment in Barbuda.
“It was agreed that as many as 80 workers, four shifts of 20 persons each, would be assigned the task to complete those buildings that do not require a lot in order to make them habitable,” notes from Chief of Staff Lionel “Max” Hurst read.
“The object is to speed recovery along so that many families can return to Barbuda.”
The prime minister and other government officials had earlier noted that native Barbudans were not returning to rebuild their home in as large a quantity as was hoped for.
Labourers who take the jobs must be willing to travel and remain in Barbuda for a week at a time to rebuild category 1 and 2 homes, those with the least damage.
“The object is to make Barbuda ready to receive several hundred Barbudan families by the end of the year.”
“APUA water and electricity are now available; the Secondary school is to be readied; the homes of teachers and parents will also be targeted for repairs so that a semblance of normalcy can return to the sister isle,” the notes read.
A daily wage has not yet been settled on.