Beautiful Virgin Islands

Saturday, Feb 24, 2024

Fraser slams RDA over sunken vessels in SCB harbour

Fraser slams RDA over sunken vessels in SCB harbour

Opposition Leader Julian Fraser has protested about the unsavoury state of the Sea Cows Bay Harbour some five years after the onslaught of hurricanes Irma and Maria in the territory.
The Third District Representative said the Recovery and Development Agency (RDA) — the organisation charged with most of the territory’s post-hurricane rebuild — came to him years ago about the removal of derelict vessels in the harbour after a concerned resident expressed disgust at the sight of the sunken vessels.

According to Fraser, after his meeting with the RDA, it was agreed that the vessels would be removed but the agency explained that it needed to do so through the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour.

“But the RDA and the government sometimes behave like the [US] federal government where they tie the funds up — you want to pass a bill, you add on something to it. They call it pork — so, everything must go together,” Fraser said.

He expressed that sunken vessels at another location in the territory were, therefore, considered along with the vessels in his district.

The lawmaker explained that it was later realised that there was not enough funding to remove vessels at both locations, so the project was ultimately overlooked and funds reallocated.

Gov’t sabotaging Third District? 

Fraser also questioned the logic behind dredging of the harbour, given the presence of the sunken vessels.

“Now, those vessels are still there since hurricane Irma in 2017… You got a harbour and you got sunken vessels in the harbour. How in God’s name could you dredge the same harbour with those sunken vessels in it?” Fraser asked.

He argued that the government spent some $1. 5 million to dredge the SCB harbour while the vessels were sitting there. 

“You tell me if this isn’t a plan to somehow. What? Sabotage the people in Sea Cows Bay or something like that? Is it a government plan to sabotage the people in Sea Cows Bay?,” Fraser asked. “I told them already. They’re not hurting me by doing nonsense, they’re hurting the people of the Third District.”
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