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UN to assist Barbados with ash clean-up


UN to assist Barbados with ash clean-up
Didier Trebucq (GP)

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Barbados is getting assistance with the clean-up from the La Soufriere volcanic ash, from the United Nations (UN).

UN resident coordinator Didier Trebucq said Tuesday the agency had received a request from Barbados for help in getting rid of the tons of ash air currents dumped across the island over several days after continuous explosive eruptions from the St Vincent and the Grenadines volcano.

Speaking at an international press conference hosted in St Vincent by that country’s Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, Trebucq indicated there was a positive response to the Barbados request and the UN would be deploying a multi-disciplinary team of experts from the UN Environment Programme to advise the island on cleaning up of the ashes and the disposal, as well as on the environmental clean-up.

The pressconference was attended by representatives of several UN agencies which will all be lending assistance to St Vincent and the Grenadines, in its recovery efforts.

With an audience of international press, the UN Resident Coordinator used the platform to launch a UN international funding appeal for close to US $30 million mainly to assist St Vincent and the Grenadines but from which Trebucq indicated Barbados and other islands affected by the volcano’s eruption would benefit.

He acknowledged the enormity of the rebuilding task for St Vincent and the Grenadines, describing the scene on his arrival following the eruption of La Soufriere as “apocalyptic”.

Meanwhile, as Barbados awaits further assistance, householders and businesses continued on the islandwide clean-up campaign mounted by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley just over a week ago.

Businesses, the Grantley Adams International Airport and Government offices were shut down for two days at the start of what is an ongoing clean-up operation. (GC)