Beautiful Virgin Islands

Friday, Jul 19, 2024

Three more Smart Community Centres handed over to VI

Three more Smart Community Centres handed over to VI

Marking a significant breakthrough in recovery efforts following the 2017 hurricanes, the Government of the Virgin Islands is now the recipient of three state-of-the-art Smart Community Centres.

The multi-purpose facilities, which contain SMART features that promote energy efficiency, were officially handed over on Tuesday, February 28, 2023, by multilateral organisations which have worked collectively to facilitate their implementation.

The facilities include the Valerie O. Thomas Community Centre in Sea Cows Bay, the Gertude and Christina Warner community in Purcell Estate, and the Emile E. Dunlop community centre in Anegada.

The European Union (EU) has played an integral role through the provision of funding for the community centres, in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), which engaged in technical oversight to ensure that they are in alignment with global SMART standards.

EU allocated €2M

€2 million was allocated by the EU for repairs and restoration, while PAHO was tasked with technical facilitation responsibilities for the project’s execution.

According to the Department of Information, Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7), in expressing gratitude to these organisations, said the centres are in alignment with Government’s commitment to responsible development and environmental conservation.

He said the community centres can also be utilised as emergency shelters during natural disasters, as well as for the hosting of cultural and social activities which benefit members of the various communities.

Premier Wheatley, added that the Government has forged a strong continuous relationship with the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) based on cooperation and mutual interests.

“Through facilitation provided by the Ministry of Health and Social Development, in partnership with the Premier’s Office, we were not only able to access assistance in managing the COVID 19 pandemic, but post-hurricane relief that has allowed for the rebuilding of our community centres”, he said.
The refurbished Valerie O. Thomas Community Centre in Sea Cows Bay was handed over to the community on February 27, 2023.



More prospects for partnerships

The Premier also reportedly stated that Government is participating in strategic discussions to advance future opportunities in the areas of socio-economic development.

“We have great prospects for partnerships in the future as it pertains to accessing funds through regional and international programmes supported by the United Nations (UN) framework. Similarly, the European Union (EU) has been a significant source of funding for the Virgin Islands which is part of an overarching strategy to aid us in reaching our sustainable development goals,” the Premier added

In November 2021, the West End Community Centre was the first to be handed over in the series of projects.
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