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Ralph Gonsalves

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. (File photo by S. Ollivierre/API)

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Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves says that his government expects that evacuees from the volcano Orange Zone, except those from Chateaubelair and Fitz Hughes, and people whose houses were damaged by the eruption are to leave emergency shelters by Tuesday.

“… immediately, what we have to ensure that persons who are from the Orange Zone, right now, save and except those from Fitz Hughes and Chateaubelair — they are in the Orange Zone but because of the extent of the ash there we are still not asking persons to go back there yet — but everywhere else in the orange zone, as I speak, persons should be leaving the shelters to go back home,” the prime minister said.

He was speaking on NBC Radio from Cuba, where he has gone to accompany his wife for therapy after spinal surgery in the United States earlier this year.

The prime minister’s comments came even as some Orange Zone residents who have attempted to move back into their homes have complained about the ash from public spaces such as roads, schools and playing fields, which are yet to be cleaned, are frustrating their efforts to clean their homes.

“Which means everybody from below Mt Young River on the northeast,” the prime minister said and went on to detail the persons who should leave emergency shelters and return to their homes.

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“So you started below the village in the area of Mt Young going all the way, I am talking below the river, south of the river: Chester Cottage, Byera, Gorse, Mangrove, Colonarie, South Rivers, Park Hill, Bellevue, and all those areas can go back home.

“And most of the persons from those areas who moved out are moving back and we are asking them all, and those for instance in Saboto’s constituency (South Central Windward) from Mt. Grennan come down, anyone who had moved out must go back, and you can go back safely,” the prime minister said.

He said there will be “the odd case where your house needs to get some attention.

“Well, then we have arrangements,” Gonsalves said.

“… We need to get the number of shelters reduced immediately because there are 80-odd shelters. I think 85 at the moment.  If we have, for instance 5-, 6-, 700 persons still from the Orange Zone, I don’t know the number, still in shelters, there are some shelters, which consist largely of persons in the Orange Zone.”

He said that if evacuees move out of these shelters, the government can close them “and just transfer whatever the residual numbers to another shelter and reduce the numbers, absolutely, at shelters.

“And where there are schools or learning resources centres or churches, we can begin to do the repairs, the renovations, and in the case of the schools, absolutely necessary for us to start early to get them ready for September.

“And then, by next week, by next week Tuesday, we would expect that everybody below the Rabacca River, that is to say, what you call the entire Langley Park area, Basin Hole, Dickson, Valley, Chili, Georgetown proper, Brownstown come right down to Mt Young River, that they can go back from Tuesday next week because everything, water is in those areas, electricity is in those areas, and the ash is being cleaned up right now in these areas.”

Gonsalves noted the comments of volcanologist Adam Stinton, on the same programme, urging that there be limited activity, with stringent regulation centred on safety in the volcano Red Zone, which, in the east of St. Vincent, includes the communities north of the Rabacca Dry River.

Speaking on the same programme, acting Prime Minister Montgomery Daniel, said that at the National Emergency Council meeting on Tuesday, members discussed ensuring that there is concentration of the cleaning south of the Rabacca Dry River and Fitz Hughes and south of Fitz Hughes, ensuring that those areas are clean before going into the Red Zone.

He said that the National Emergency management Organisation (NEMO) will arrange with shelter managers to organise transportation for persons returning home.

Gonsalves said that the government will “provide food immediately for you also because we understand the difficulty you are going back to.

“So immediately, you will get, as you move back, a food package which would last for two weeks at least. That’s the idea, that’s the plan. And the resources are in the supplementary estimates for that and there is not going to be any penny-pinching on that.”

He said that it is when farmers return to their homes that they will get the income support Parliament approved last week.

The same will apply to people with other types of businesses or those who will get food packages and a stipend of about $150 beginning June, which was also part of the EC$119 fiscal package that lawmakers approved.

“We can’t be paying you to keep you in the shelters and pay you to stay in the shelters. That would be an outlandish proposition. Nowhere is that sort of a thing done,” the prime minister said.

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7 replies on “Most Orange Zone evacuees should leave shelters by Tuesday — PM”

  1. What in the world can 150 do to family who has five it six in a family. You all is crazy. Somebody wants their head wash. You all are not thinking right.

  2. Happy that people can go back to their homes. The PM seems in a hurry to get people out of the shelters. Being in a hurry is his usual mistake. The clean up will take a least a few months and the repairs to people’s homes and utilities and so on. Come like yo house bun down but the roof still on so you can clean up and move back in, yo overs wa a mean. Da goin be hell if you have small children with you.
    Overall, I find that Gunslaves is handling the post Volcano eruption situation fairly well. Where he is failing is the vaccine roll out. If Gunslaves mouth wasn’t in everything people would act differently. Beside if you want to have any kind of tourism from Europe you need the people to vaccinate. People should start behaving real and stop following bull shit they know nothing about from people they know nothing about. This anti-vaccine conspiracy theory going around is the same as Republicans who say Donald Trump is the real president and that the election were stolen. Completely categorically ludicrous.

  3. The PM directives would have come via information provided by public adjusters assessments gathered re damaged homes within the orange and red zones.
    Returning to their homes (damaged or not), generates some level of psychological adjustments; owners having to do major interior and exterior cleaning, spoil household items, back log utility bills etc.
    “A food package which would last for two weeks at least” is only a ration, and hardly a survival to getting back on ones’ feet. As a framework in getting people back on their feet, there must be Nemo coordinated supplementary centers within the windward and leeward orange Zone; consist of household essentials and food supplies, in addition to the “stipend of about $150 beginning June.”
    This is a proposed list of basic household essentials that should be made available to home owners within the Red and Orange Zone. We must NOT allow Partition Politics to get in the way of SVG rising out of the ashes. We are ALL for One and One for ALL, endured the test of Dengue, Covid19 and Lady Soufriere’ anger as we face the unknown of the hurricane season in Hope for God’s favour.
    Flashlight
    Candles
    Lighters
    Matches
    Hot Mittens/pot holder
    Kitchen Towels
    Dish scrub brush or sponge
    Plastic Containers
    Iron Pot
    Bottle/Can opener/cork screw
    Knife (pealing/cutting)
    Cutlery
    Cooking spoon
    Coffee and Tea
    Coffee Mate
    Kettle (stove Top)
    Toaster
    Thermos
    Mugs
    Plates/bowls
    Markers Permanent
    First Aid Kit
    Band-Aids
    Pill Box
    Nail clip
    Head touches
    Batteries
    Rubber globes
    Bucket
    Tape Transparent
    Tape Electrical
    Tape Painters
    Duct Tape
    Measuring Tape
    Paint Brush
    DW 40
    Screw Drivers
    Extension Cord
    Transformer small
    Hammer
    Nails
    Screws
    Drill
    Wrench
    Needle
    Thread Black/white/Red/blue
    Crazy Glue
    Bulbs
    Pens and pencils
    Tooth Brush
    Toothpaste
    Deodorant
    Comb
    Lysol Wipes
    Vegetable Seeds

  4. KC, PM putting the squeeze on IWN? Hang in there. You have the Law and the people of SVG on your side. the Villain is out to ruin you because you are not just another journalist, IWNSVG is one of the Voices of the Nation. Also, don’t forget when one door closed another is open. Don’t let them get to you, remember if you go to battle you could die, if you don’t, same thing, don’t forget that; don’t forget you always have a choice. Those viral videos you made in the second quarter this year must have upset him real bad. Report on the Covid and Vaccine roll out. The Villain made a huge bu bu there. They want to label those in diaspora as political operatives, what a load of crap. We are our brothers’ keeper. If we see sh*t happening to them we will say it. And, if the government operates like a mafia clan we will say that too.

  5. Labour love. five in a row. some people deserve what they get. they love it so, and are very proud of it

  6. Avatar Of Sensible Personsensible person says:

    “R”Thanks for the comment. Of course you were there, so you are the authority. You know that No one has ever died from the vaccines, and hundreds of billions have died from Covid. You were in all those polling places in the USA to make sure there was no cheating. Thank you so much for setting us straight.

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