By: Precious Mills

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts (Friday, 15th September, 2017) -The Federation of St.Kitts and Nevis has incurred over EC$50 million dollars in damages following the passage of hurricane Irma on Tuesday 5th September.

That piece of information was disclosed by Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris while addressing members of the media yesterday (Thursday) at a press conference held at Government Headquarters as he gave remarks on the post-hurricane damage assessment.

“The estimate of damage to St Kitts and Nevis has been conservatively put at EC $53.2 million. The Nevis Island Administration (NIA) estimates the damage on that island at approximately EC $12 million. On the island of St. Kitts, our estimate is EC $41 million,” he shared.

He said that the estimate reflects damage mostly to the public sector whilst noting “We are still awaiting the reports from the private sector.”

Dr. Harris provided details of preliminary reports for both islands which shows that the estimated total overall is EC$53,194,888.39.

According to him, the report for St. Kitts has been prepared by Director of Public Works/Chairman of the Damage Assessment and Recovery Committee (DARC) of NEMA Mr. Cromwell Williams and on Nevis by the Disaster Manager at the Nevis Disaster Management Department in the Premier’s Ministry Brian Dyer.

Dr. Harris listed principal areas of damages in the Federation with twelve (12) sectors on St.Kitts with a subtotal EC$41,173,300.00 and also on the sister of Nevis with seven (7) sectors with a subtotal EC$12,021,588.39.

For St. Kitts the sectors and the allotted price tags are as follows: Water services ($1,328,000.00), Electricity- ($ 3,583,300.00), Roads/Quarry ($500,000.00), Residential Housing ($5,880,000.00), Commercial Housing (None reported), Other Government Buildings ($ 250,000.00),Agriculture ($ 10,497,000.00), Environmental damage (Coastal Erosion)- ($ 11,000,000.00), Environmental damage (Forest Damage)- ($ 5,500,000.00), Sporting Facilities ($1,550,000.00), Ports (SCASPA)- ($885,000.00) and NEMA/Security Personnel Overtime ($200,000.00).

For Nevis: Social Sectors (Housing, Environment, health, education) – ($5,901,488.00), Infrastructure (mainly Jetties) – ($ 4,731,086.00) and Economic Sectors (Agriculture, Tourism) – ($1,344,236.00).

In touching on the housing stock on St.Kitts, PM Harris said damages range from minor (loss of shingles) to significant damage, that is, structure cannot be safely occupied without substantial repairs.

He went on to say that the National Housing Corporation (NHC) reported a number of homes across St Kitts were affected. The largest numbers are in NEMA districts 3, 6, 7 and 8.

Furthermore, as it relates to Agriculture and Marine areas, he shared that damages include loss of green houses, fruit trees, animal feed, crop fencing, pig pens, equipment and hundreds of animals whose deaths were attributed to Hurricane Irma.

“There was also significant damage to feeder roads. The Department of Marine Resources reported significant damages principally at the Fisheries Cooperative Building in Dieppe Bay and the break water facility in Old Road,” PM Harris explained.

Notably, the estimated figure for damages to the Federation following the hurricane Irma has raised some eyebrows by many citizens and residents who appear to be confused at the lump sum cost since St.Kitts-Nevis did not get a direct hit by the category 5 storm.