Food for the Poor to Construct Houses for ‘Ivan’ Victims


Several Jamaicans, who lost their houses due to Hurricane Ivan, are to benefit from new dwellings to be constructed by Food for the Poor. The organisation has given its commitment to rebuilding hundreds of homes throughout the island.
Bradley Smith, Executive Director of the non-profit organisation, recently told JIS News that following discussions with the government, a decision was arrived at “to see how best we could get these people back on track into a dwelling they can call their own.”
Mr. Smith said that Food for the Poor, on average, constructed 250 homes per month throughout the island, but with the destruction meted out by the hurricane, “the plan is to increase our production from the 250 to 500.”
He said the organisation had initially projected a six-month time frame to complete the rebuilding process, but with more and more persons coming forward for assistance, the time frame could well exceed the half-year mark. “We are just planning to go at it per month until we can get everybody that needs a house has one,” he asserted.
Funds for the reconstruction will come from the government’s coffers, as well as contributions from a number of local and overseas firms.
Mr. Smith said that the homes would be built to safeguard against future damage. “We always try to improve what we are doing. Even before Ivan, we looked at new systems including additional hurricane straps both to the flooring and roof of the houses we are presently building,” he informed.
He further informed that, “we have engineers on behalf of the government to do some slight modifications to what we do, in a bid to strengthen it more.”
In addition to the rebuilding effort, Food for the Poor has also donated 2,560 tonnes of dry food throughout Jamaica.
According to Mr. Smith, over the post-Ivan period, “we continue to send out milk powder, rice, flour, corn meal, and oil to churches, feeding centres, hospitals, nursing homes, and infirmaries in a bid to help them. First, it was an immediate relief, now it is a constant development to try and get them back on track.”
“We have also brought in a couple trailer loads of seeds to be given to the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) and the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) to distribute to farmers,” he added.
Further updating JIS on the organisation’s goodwill efforts, he advised that earlier the month, Food for the Poor had opened a fishing village at Orange Bay in Portland at a cost of US$40,000. The cost, he revealed, was inclusive of the donation of four engines, boats, and gear shed.
Additionally, the non-profit company built 23 homes at the site at a cost of US$2,000 each and also repaired the Orange Bay Primary School in the area, providing the educational institution with two additional classrooms at a cost of US$6,000.

JIS Social