New approach to giving out donated roofing material | THE DAILY HERALD

PHILIPSBURG–A “new approach” has been adopted for persons to qualify to receive roofing material donated to St. Maarten for those affected by the 2017 hurricanes. The new slant is to widen the scope of persons eligible to receive it.

Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin said the material had been provided by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for persons affected by the 2017 hurricanes. Members of the Church had visited St. Maarten after the hurricanes, and during one of their return visits they contacted the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour VSA and proposed donating roofing material for socially challenged persons who sustained hurricane damage.

Romeo-Marlin said the Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure VROMI had been instrumental in balancing the project. One of the main requirements was that the distribution be placed in the hands of responsible parties and that the material be given to persons in need. Criteria had to be put in place for persons to comply with. Distribution has been made to 21 persons thus far. Many persons did not meet the criteria, resulting in the pace of the distribution slowing down. However, it was never halted as persons are in contact with the ministry on a daily basis.

Romeo-Marlin said in an effort to achieve better participation, the ministries had taken feedback into consideration and had come up with a “new approach” for the criteria to include a wider group of residents, who might be able to use the material.

She said persons had previously been unable to use the material due to needing additional building material; the roofing material not being the type needed; and inability to pay for labour after receiving the material, so waiting for help from the National Recovery Programme Bureau (NRPB).

For the new approach, it is hoped that more people can qualify for the materials, the prime minister said, adding that criteria had to be in place and it was government’s role to ensure that the distribution was carried out in a responsible manner, and that the material was given to the right persons.

Those are interested in materials can pass by the nearest Community Help Desk to register.

Source: The Daily Herald