It is close to a year since La Soufrière volcano erupted (April 2021) causing displacement of communities and extensive damage to the housing stock, the road and drainage systems and agriculture, especially in the northern areas of mainland St. Vincent.
Many parts of North Windward are still under deposits of volcanic ash and Taiwan is lending its assistance to the people in that area, as they take on the task of removing the remaining ash and other debris amounting to an estimated volume of 82,000 cubic yards.
Toward this end, the Ministry of Transport and works and the Embassy of the Republic of China on Taiwan on Friday 25th March, launched the final phase of a US$3 million River Cleaning and Training – Debris removal and River Defence Work Project.
At the launch held in London, Sandy Bay, resident Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan), H.E. Peter Sha-Li Lan said phases one and two of the Project focused on the purchase of equipment and the repair of the Rabacca Bridge at a cost of US$1.3 million.
Phase three, according to the Ambassador, will focus on cleaning and bolstering ten (10) river crossings from Orange Hill to Fancy, inclusive of Owia, Cayo, Karo, London, Sandy Bay, Overland and Noel River.
Ambassador Lan took the opportunity to express his Country’s “strong commitment in supporting the rehabilitation and reconstruction process of SVG after the eruptions of volcano La Soufrière,” and referenced Taiwan’s work in North Windward as also being a contribution to facilitating the return of economic activities in the North Windward area.
Montgomery Daniel, Minister of Transport, Works, Lands and Surveys, and Physical Planning, and Parliamentary Representative for the area, was also in attendance. He alluded to the ongoing challenge of the daily removal of sand and debris from the Rabacca River by BRAGSA, so as to ensure a free flow of water under the Rabacca Bridge.