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Govt approves funds for ashfall clean-up


Govt approves funds for ashfall clean-up
Workers bagging volcano ash from deposits along the side of the road in Bay Street, St Michael. (Picture by Jameel Springer/FILE)

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The greater part of $34 million voted by Government today will go towards the clean-up of the ashfall caused by the April explosive eruption of La Soufriere volcano in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

This amount was approved as a supplementary to the 2021-2022 Estimates of Expenditure during a brief sitting of the House of Assembly today. Monies will be disbursed to various ministries to reimburse them and various state-owned enterprises that fall under those ministries.

Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Ryan Straughn, who introduced the money resolution, also said Government was currently in the process of compiling estimates for the cost of the response to damage done by Hurricane Elsa.

He added the Ministry of Finance would be working with the rest of the Government, including the Ministry of Housing, Transport and Works to continue to ensure that the proper response for the rehabilitation of structures as well as the infrastructure, can be accommodated in the shortest possible time.”

Minister of Transport, Works and Water Resources Ian Gooding-Edghill told the House part of the money being voted would be used to fund the wages of hundreds of ash fall workers who have been contracted to assist in the clean-up campaign.

Edghill said his ministry moved over 40 000 bags of ash from across Barbados, while the Ministry of Environment and National Beautification assisted with trucks removing the ash.

Also to be paid from the money voted today are companies hired to clean the roadways, culverts, drains and wells. (GC)