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The recently completed Community Centre and Emergency Shelter at Long Trench is expected to serve as a model for what needs to be done at other centres across the Territory.
This was disclosed by Minister for Health and Social Development, Honourable Carvin Malone who said he is very pleased with the completed works on the building.
Honourable Malone said, “Repairs to the structure included replacement and sealing of sections of the roof, changing out of windows and doors, replacement of ceiling and kitchen cupboards as well as the upgrade of all exterior and interior water and electricity fixtures and fittings to ones that promote conservation and make the operations of the facility more efficient. The entire structure was cleaned of mold and all walls were repaired and repainted. The generator housing was also upgraded and a new generator is on site to be installed. “
The minister expressed his appreciation to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) for supporting the repairs and said he welcomed this partnership as the Government works towards improving the resilience of community centres and other public structures.
Honourable Malone further said, “Partnerships with Caribbean organisations like CDEMA provide many benefits for us in the Virgin Islands. We cannot recover from the devastating events of 2017 without this level of support and so we thank the Executive Director and his team for this intervention and look forward to collaborating with them on other projects of this nature.”
Executive Director of CDEMA, Ronald Jackson said that the works were part of legacy projects implemented in several of the CDEMA Participating States that were affected following the impacts of 2017. He noted that every effort was made to ensure that these projects would be designed and implemented to provide direct benefits to the affected community.
Mr. Jackson said, “We are so very pleased with the outcome of this project but more so the fact that the expertise to undertake the works came from within the Virgin Islands, the windows and doors were actually fabricated on Tortola and supplies were bought locally. This signals that the Territory has the level of skills and expertise needed to undertake these types of works and is a good sign that the recovery process will result in outputs that demonstrate efforts toward building resiliency in key infrastructure.”
The Long Trench Community Centre served as a critical structure for providing safe refuge to persons who were displaced as a result of the impacts of the events of 2017 and to date two families are still housed at the shelter.
CDEMA provided the sum of US$95,000 to repair damage caused to the structure and to upgrade it to meet the Smart (safe and green) standards promoted by the Pan American Health organisation and the CDEMA Safer Building Programme as a means to achieving resiliency.
The Long Trench Community Centre is one of 10 Government owned centres under the management of the Ministry of Health and Social Development. All centres throughout the Virgin Islands serve the needs of the community and most are designed to operate as Emergency Shelters under the authority of the Disaster Management Act.