The Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) had promised to undertake major works under the Post Hurricane Tomas Reconstruction Project, to ensure that the island’s infrastructure is rebuilt.
But according to United Workers Party (UWP) politician Guy Joseph, four years have passed and reconstruction has not even started at several locations across the island.
Joseph, a former Works and Transport Minister, said his party was in office for only one year after Hurricane Tomas and they were able to complete a few major reconstruction works.
“There are still areas where reconstruction work has not commenced,” he stated.
Joseph made reference to the Allan Bousquet Highway, which links the North to the Morne and to the East Coast Road, via the Tapion link road, for which reconstruction only began two weeks ago.
“If you pass Bagatelle at the junction between Bagatelle, Forestiere and the Morne, there is a wall where the road is undermined since Tomas and it has not been touched,” he further stated.
Joseph claims that there are also roads in Forestiere that were damaged as a result of Hurricane Tomas that have still not been repaired, while many roads in other communities remain the same.
“Does this government understands anything about reconstruction?” he questioned.
Quoting a section of the 2011 Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) manifesto, Joseph said the SLP promised that in the first two years in office, they would have mobilized resources to undertake the reconstruction.
The SLP had also pledged to have damaged and silted agricultural lands restored, have several rivers desilted and the island’s national water distribution system repaired.
But Joseph argues that all of these promises failed to materialise, explaining that there are many farm lands which still have silt, while Roseau, Cul De Sac and Mabouya Valley are silted as well.
“The last set of heavy flooding in Bexon is a direct result of a lack of desilting work by the labour administration. Since the through, Bexon has not been properly desilted,” he explained.
The Castries South East MP said some “superficial work” was done, where they pulled out a bit of the silt and placed it on the river banks but as soon as it rain, it went right back into the rivers.
Joseph maintains that there has been no extensive desilting taking place, ever since the hurricane.
He challenged the media to do a tour with him, so they can witness for themselves the extent of reconstruction that are still to take place after Hurricane Tomas struck Saint Lucia back in 2010.