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News from the Turks and Caicos Islands:

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Beneficiaries of Hurricane Ike housing project named
Published on August 17, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

The full list of 125 beneficiaries of a $6 million European Union fund to help the Turks and Caicos Islands recover from hurricane Ike is being published across the territory.

According to an announcement on Thursday, in all 43 homes will be rebuilt and 82 repaired, from an initial 238 applications, which were sifted on strict needs based criteria that supported the elderly, infirm and those on lower incomes.

All the properties are on the islands worst affected by Ike, according to UNESCO in 2009, Grand Turk, South Caicos and Salt Cay.

However, two hilltop homes on Middle Caicos damaged by Hurricane Ike in 2008 have been ignored in the allocation of money from the EU reconstruction fund.

One home occupied by 49-year-old Melody Robinson lost its roof and interior. It remains without interior walls, pressure water or basic sanitary facilities. The house is home to several children, some kindergarten and primary school age.

Currently, the home has no interior walls and a temporary electrical hook up. There are no kitchen or bathroom facilities. Robinson said that she approached the local government office but was turned away, being told the relief was only for Grand Turk, South Caicos and Salt Cay where most of the damage occurred.

Robinson says she has given up trying to get help.

Another home next to Robinson’s, belonging to her uncle, a long retired senior, was totally destroyed. That home has been completely rebuilt by family members who dipped into their pockets to do the reconstruction, which included structural elements, a complete new roof, all new wiring, interior partitions, kitchen and toilet and bath facilities.

“All applicants whose applications were declined were allowed the time to appeal and in all 24 appeals were heard, with 10 of those being finally approved,” said project manager Sue Breetzke. “Although this took longer than anticipated, we are extremely pleased with the thoroughness of the process.”

Chair of the Disaster Recovery Board, Governor Ric Todd added, “We are very pleased to now release the final list of 125 beneficiaries and to confirm that rebuilding of 43 new homes will start at the end of the 2013 Hurricane Season.”

Beneficiaries are now being supported by the project staff in regularising any unresolved land registry issues and in the signing of the contracts and permissions to carry out the work on their homes.

Work is also underway to cost the work required to repair the 82 homes that do not require rebuilding and engineering surveys of the 59 homes that will need more extensive repairs are being carried out.

Copies of the list are displayed at the One-Stop-Shop on Grand Turk, and the DC’s offices on South Caicos and Salt Cay as well as various key points on each island.
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