Sarah questions Emmanuel and Lee about roof repairs

PHILIPSBURG–Member of Parliament (MP) Sarah Wescot-Williams has fired off questions about Government’s roof-repair programme to two caretaker Ministers, asking them, among other things, to inform Parliament about the criteria used to select residents for assistance.

Her questions, directed to caretaker Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure VROMI Christophe Emmanuel and caretaker Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour VSA Emil Lee, also seek information on whether there is a “self-help” component and whether the Government roof-repair programme was coordinated with that of the Red Cross.
Wescot-Williams also called on the Ministers to make public the bidding progress to select contractors to execute the repairs.
Wescot-Williams “welcomes” the roof-repair programme. The programme forms part of Dutch aid, “because it [the money – Ed.] is from the deficit budget, for which the Government is expecting to receive budgetary assistance as part of the reconstruction aid from the Netherlands,” Wescot-Williams said in her letter to the Ministers.
“The money we scorned will now help us to build back and build back stronger,” she said referring to the now-caretaker William Marlin Cabinet’s reluctance to agree to Dutch conditions ahead of the release of recovery aid.
“It is unfortunate that the Government is not making haste with the law that is supposed to legitimise their financial spending during these times, including legitimising the roof-repair programme expenses. Especially in these times, the Government should do everything to avoid any semblance of politicising the relief and reconstruction programmes,” she said.
Emmanuel announced the NAf. 2 million roof-repair programme last week with kick-off slated for this week. The programme is aimed at Government renters, pensioners and unemployed homeowners.
The funds to fix some 350 roofs are derived from pledges totalling some NAf. 5 million collected following the devastation of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September, Emmanuel stated in his press release.
Roofs will be repaired by replacing T1.11 plywood, rafters and/or zinc. Contractors will tackle roofs in worst affected districts first.
Priority has been given to persons renting from Government, pensioners who own their homes and have a monthly income lower than NAf. 4,000, unemployed homeowners, homeowners on social aid and owners who rent out rooms or apartments, but have a total monthly income less than NAf. 4,000.

Source: The Daily Herald