Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 14, 2021 (SKNIS): Valentine Lindsay, Chair of the Housing and Shelter Sub-Committee in St. Kitts, has outlined the committee’s role in the context of disaster preparedness adding that it is important to ensure that all shelters are safe, accessible and equipped with the necessities.
“We have to prepare before there is a storm. Our role is to examine the number of properties around the country that are used or earmarked for shelter,” said Mr. Lindsay on the July 14 edition of Working for You.
Mr. Lindsay noted that a team from several government departments including Public Works, Physical Planning and Social Services; persons from the churches, Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs, St. Kitts Christian Council and Ministry of Human Settlement, is tasked with ensuring that the shelters meet the necessary requirements.
“We would have crisscrossed the country just about three months ago looking at the different community centers, certain sporting complexes, and also some church buildings to ensure that the sanitary facilities are adequate, in order and in working condition,” he said. “We also would have examined the integrity of the buildings – the roofs, windows and doors – to ensure that they are safe, secure and can withstand gale-force winds. We also would look at whether or not the venue is accommodative to persons in wheelchairs.”
Mr. Lindsay said that once the assessment of the buildings is complete, recommendations will then be made to the relevant bodies so that the issues could be corrected.
He noted that in making their rounds to the various centers, vandalism of the properties was noticeable.
“You go to these shelters and you would recognize that some child would have probably passed and threw a stone and knocked out a glass or you would recognize a door for the bathroom is gone…” he said. “I believe that we have to continue to educate our people to recognize that when the government would have made investments into its people it is for the betterment of all and as such public property is to be safeguarded and protected.”
Mr. Lindsay added that about seven of the 45 centers are wheelchair accessible. However, it is important to retrofit others as this is deemed an important need for the differently-abled in society.