Homes for Vincentians displaced by La Soufriere volcano
An erupting La Soufriere volcano on April last year (CMC File Photo)

KINGSTOWN, St Vincent, CMC – The Mustique Charitable Trusts (MCT) says it will provide EC$4.02 million (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents) for the construction of the houses in North Windward for people affected by the eruption of La Soufriere volcano in April 2021.

The state-owned Roads, Building and General Services Authority (BRAGSA) will function as the main contractor for building the one, two and three-bedroom houses that will be complete inclusive of the finishes and the structure consisting of block and reinforced concrete, built according to local building codes and following hurricane and earthquake resistance guidelines.

The houses will be built on lands provided by the government at housing development sites in Sandy Bay and Orange Hill and will go to 41 families, who will benefit by being relocated to safer locations in their community.

The houses are earmarked for families whose homes are currently located in the riverbeds and river coasts in the region north of the Rabacca Dry River, which are most impacted by lahars and flooding.

This project falls under the Mustique Volcano Emergency Relief Funds (VERF), which was initiated through the donations from Mustique Homeowners, Guests and Friends of Mustique in immediate response to the eruption of La Soufriere on April 9, 2021.

Other projects completed under the VERF include grocery boxes and water to over 5,000 evacuees, distribution of relief supplies to over 14,000 villagers in 28 villages, heavy duty cleaning equipment to BRAGSA, NEMO, AIA and Kingstown Town Board, shower facilities in 12 school shelters and 750 farmers tool kits provided to small farmers in the Red and Orange Zones.

Total costs of all Mustique VERF projects to date, including the current relocation housing project, is EC$7.4 million.

The “explosive” volcanic eruption has blanketed the Caribbean island of St Vincent in ash and smoke and forced thousands of people out of their homes.

La Soufrière had been dormant since 1979 and following the explosion Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves urged more than 16,000 residents in “red zones” to evacuate.

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