At least one resident has drawn a comparison between government responses to the 2017 hurricanes and the current COVID-19 pandemic currently affecting the BVI.
The female resident who called the NDP Radio show to speak with Opposition Leader Marlon Penn said his criticisms of the current government are unfair, adding that his previously-governing NDP administration didn’t do a better job after hurricanes Irma and Maria hit the BVI.
As the caller was pointing out that all countries are experiencing the same economic pressures as the BVI, the Opposition Leader said the BVI has “to look at our unique situation as a territory. After the hurricanes, we (the BVI) had persons to come to our rescue”.
“Who was there, Honourable Penn? Who was there that came to our rescue? It certainly wasn’t the government of which you were a part. And if you would do a survey now, you would see the number of homes that are still left to be repaired,” the resident responded.
She continued: “I think this is very unfair, the way that you are just bashing the decisions of the government when you were a part of a government who never took on the people of this country and never thought about them at a time when they had the greatest disaster that you could find; where families are still living with relatives because they can’t get their house roofs put back on.”
In response, Penn said the caller’s assessment of the NDP’s response after hurricanes Irma and Maria is unfair. He said the government, along with various international organisations implemented many initiatives that revive the economy after the 2017 disasters.
“In fact, after the hurricanes and the plans that we put in place in terms of tourism, we were able to get some of the strongest economic numbers after that time,” Penn argued.
The measures implemented by the current Andrew Fahie
-led VIP administration has been met with both criticism and praise by members of the public. Some believe the measures are too stringent and are crippling the economy. They say the worst effects will be seen after the territory reopens to visitors on December 1.
Others have agreed with the government that stringent measures will only benefit the BVI by preventing another outbreak of COVD-19 in the community.
The previous NDP administration received similar criticisms and praises for it’s handling of the recovery process immediately after the 2017 hurricanes.