Government this morning received a total of J$21 million towards its Gustav relief Fund. The presentations were made at Jamaica House by Digicel and RBTT Bank, to Prime Minister, Bruce Golding.
Digicel presented some $16 million to the Gustav Fund, an additional $2 million to the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management-ODPEM and $2-million to Mustard Seed Communities, which also suffered from the onslaught of Gustav. RBTT contributed $1 million to the Gustav Fund.
In accepting the donations, Prime Minister Golding expressed Government’s appreciation to the two corporate entities, noting that he was particularly grateful that Digicel had extended special assistance to Mustard Seed, so that they could continue the invaluable work they have been doing to help the less fortunate.
Mr. Golding disclosed that final estimates of the damage done by Gustav amounted to J$15 billion. Damage to infrastructure he said, amounted to $12.5 billion while damage to agricultural crops, houses, schools and public buildings, is in the region of $2.6 billion. Mr. Golding said
Prime Minister Bruce Golding (r) accepts a cheque from RBTT’s General Manager, Mary Powell (c), as part of that bank’s contribution to the Gustav Relief Fund. The presentation was made this morning (Sept. 17) at Jamaica House. Also sharing in the presentation was Dave Martin (l), Assistant General Manager for Treasury at RBTT.
assistance being provided by corporate bodies was very important. “digicel is one of the most benevolent corporate entities and it gives to so many worthy causes”, Mr. Golding noted. He said final figures also confirmed that 350 houses were destroyed by Gustav and a large number badly damaged. He said Cabinet will have to consider how to provide relief to those in need and that special attention would have to be given to the parishes of Portland and St Thomas, which were the hardest hit.
Mr. Golding also used the occasion to once again express the Government’s appreciation to, Bouyges Travaux Publics Construction, which has committed to repairing the Bog Walk Gorge in St. Catherine at no cost to the Government. Mr. Golding said he toured the Gorge over the weekend and was impressed with the rate of the repairs, which from all indications should be completed ahead of the 4-week schedule. The repairs to the Gorge, Mr. Golding said, is expected to cost in the region of $119 million dollars.
Minister of State for Project Implementation and Service Delivery, Daryl Vaz, is co-ordinating the Gustav Relief Fund. The cheque presentation on behalf of Digicel was made by Digecel’s CEO, Mark Lineham while RBTT’s donation was made by General Manager, Mary Powell.