Photo Credit: Melissa Edwards/BVI Platinum News
Officials from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) will be in the Territory to witness the official kick start of its $15.7M loan to the BVI government which was recently released.
The loan is for the purpose of financing the infrastructural rehabilitation project following damages caused by Tropical Storm Otto.
During the National Democratic Party (NDP) radio programme this week, government officials disclosed that they are preparing to launch the CDB programme which will take place month end and CDB officials will be on island.
officials also disclosed that following the launch works will commence within a month on the priority areas identified.
According to a press release from CDB regarding the BVI loan approval, the Board of Directors of the CDB approved a loan to the Government of the BVI equivalent to USD 15.67 million for a natural disaster management project.
Approval was granted at a meeting of the board in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. The project is designed to assist the BVI in rehabilitating infrastructure damaged by Tropical Storm Otto, while reducing risks associated with heavy rainfall.
According to the bank, this assistance will have three main components - rehabilitating and reconstructing road and drainage infrastructure to internationally acceptable standards; providing institutional strengthening by conducting a drainage assessment for storm-water flood risk reduction in the Road Town catchment area; and providing assistance for drafting regulations pursuant to the Physical Planning Act, 2004.
The project will be implemented by the Ministry of Communications and Works and infrastructure works will be undertaken on Tortola, Virgin Gorda and Jost van Dyke.
Dr. Drexel Glasgow has been appointed as Project Manager to oversee all projects to be executed under the loan.
On May 18, the Premier Hon. Dr. Orlando Smith announced that the United Kingdom granted approval for the BVI Government to go ahead and accept the $15.7 million CDB loan for the rehabilitation of roads and drainage structures across the Territory. The approval came May 14 via a letter from the UK Minister for Overseas Territories, Henry Bellingham, MP.
Premier Smith had said that the approval is a testimony to the new mature relationship between the BVI Government and the United Kingdom.
The loan, which was approved by the CDB last year following an application from then Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Government, was held up by the United Kingdom Government.
Premier Smith has stated that the delay was due to concerns about the BVI breaching the borrowing guidelines between the BVI and the United Kingdom.