The retrofitting of 10 Hurricane Shelters around the country will create easier access for persons with disabilities in the event that there is a hurricane, according to Minister with Responsibility for Disaster Management, Senator Winston Garraway,
Addressing members of the media at the weekly post-Cabinet Press Briefing held at the Ministerial Complex, Sen. Garraway said that this is being made possible through financial assistance from Canada.
“We have been able to access funding from the Canadian Caribbean Disaster Risk Management Fund of $100,000 Canadian Dollars and that money will be used primarily to upgrade some 10 shelters around the country to accommodate persons with disabilities and also some water storage facility”, he said
“So, we’re moving into the direction where our not so able-bodied individuals, the citizens, will be accommodated in those 10 shelters and that’s where we’re moving towards doing that,” he added.
Sen. Garraway told reporters that the focus will mainly be on the primary shelters and areas where there is a greater concentration of persons with disabilities.
“So, you have for example SAASS, that’s one of the shelters that would be upgraded. You have Westerhall Secondary. You have the Community Centre in New Hampshire, Willis. You have the Prototype shelter in Marian. You have the shelter in Roxborough Church in St. Paul’s and you have two of them in St. Patrick.
“…We have to work with the Council of the Disabled and to get their stats and couple that with the stats from the Ministry of Statistics and from that because the consultants and the funders wanted to ensure that the monies that (are) to be spent would target the most vulnerable people…those are the ones who would benefit.
The Junior government minister announced that the shelters would be retrofitted with ramps, handrails, and wheel chair access, as well as rails in the bathrooms.
Sen. Garraway disclosed that for the 2017 Hurricane season which started in June, there are 120 available shelters with five being added to the list of 115 from last year.
He said the numbers make up 71 primary shelters that will be utilised by people prior to and during the advent of a storm and 49 secondary shelters that will be used after the storm has passed.