(Source: Barbados Today) Evacuees currently in shelters across St Vincent is an unsustainable solution. This is one of the major findings of a Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) team, which recommends that evacuees be moved to temporary housing as soon as possible.
Thirteen thousand, three hundred (13,303) Vincentians have been displaced so far by the ongoing eruption at La Soufriere.
Retired Brigadier General Earl Arthurs, who is leading the CDEMA detail told Barbados Today that while the “one-room hotels” are being used in the short-term, these conditions should not continue for more than a few weeks.
“The shelters are school rooms and even if you put one family in a classroom and there are six of them, you have no privacy,” Arthurs said.
He said in the case of emergency housing, it could mean you could build some wooden houses for them on a piece of land and at least you would have your family in some privacy and able to operate for a while until you can build back your house.
“Of course you have to look at the money, but I know for sure that if they agree and identify a piece of land and want to put up 100 wooden houses, that can be done easily because there is a lot of wood in Belize and Guyana and we actually export houses in containers already cut and shaped and everything”.
Health officials on the CDEMA team have also found no significant increase in COVID-19 cases and clusters, despite a massive evacuation of 20,000 people, some in cramped vehicles and small boats.