Hurricane-affected St. Kitts-Nevis assists neighbouring islands
From the press unit in the Office of the Prime Minister
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – The government of St. Kitts and Nevis is extending a helping hand to the neighbouring islands severely impacted by the passage of Hurricanes Irma, even as the twin-island federation continues its own recovery efforts.
The islands of Anguilla, Barbuda, St. Martin, St. Barts, the British Virgin Islands and Saba all reported significant infrastructural damages, and in some cases loss of life, as a result of Hurricane Irma, which made its way through the Caribbean region last week.
During an appearance on the People’s Voice radio programme on Sugar City 90.3 FM Monday, Prime Minister the Honourable Dr. Timothy Harris said his government took several decisions to facilitate support to other affected islands.
The prime minister said, “Our defence force was instrumental [Sunday] in getting water from the [St. Kitts] Bottling Company down to the docks and loaded onto a vessel and out to Saba, where there was a very low supply of a critical resource, and we know that other actions are to be taken by the chamber and other groups to get relief supplies out. As we speak, we are attempting to mobilize our coast guard – that is being sheltered in St. Lucia – to move up to Antigua, taking well needed supplies there to Antigua and then coming to St. Kitts bringing some supplies that would be helpful for us in our efforts to restore the electricity and deal with some of the damages to our water systems.”
Prime Minister Harris disclosed that his government’s response to the needs of the affected islands extends further than the supply of essential supplies, as the government has “also made available our hospitals in case there are instances [that] require treatment and that treatment could not be had in any of the member states affected by Hurricane Irma. We have likewise said that our airport will be offered as a staging platform for relief efforts to St. Barts, St. Eustatius, French St. Martin, Saba and Dutch St. Maarten. So again, we have put our own assets to the service of the rest of the suffering islands around us.”
The St. Kitts and Nevis prime minister further noted that his government has provided diplomatic clearance for two French vessels that could not safely get into the waters of French St. Martin.
“We are happy to be able to do this, not that we are a rich and powerful country – we are not – but we understand that in times like these, and indeed at all times, St. Kitts and Nevis must be its brother’s keeper,” Harris stated.