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Government Seeks Two Emergency CDB Loans for Black Mallet

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Contact: Prime Minister's Press Secretary

October 29, 1999 - The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is being asked to give urgent consideration to a request from the Government of St. Lucia for two loans to help meet the costs, so far, of the natural disaster at Black Mallet.

Prime Minister Dr Kenny D. Anthony has written the bank through CDB President, Sir Neville Nichols, requesting the emergency assistance under its recently-approved Natural Disaster Management Strategy.

The first request is for an Emergency Response loan of half-a-million US dollars (US$500,000) to provide short-term accommodation for displaced families from Black Mallet and other affected areas who will have to be relocated elsewhere. The second request is for a Disaster Mitigation loan to assist with the implementation of engineering measures to stabilize the affected areas and to mitigate the risk of future land movements at Black Mallet and other areas of St. Lucia prone to the hazards and risks of such earth movements and other similar disasters.

Prime Minister Anthony told the CDB President that "even though there had been no loss of life," the situation was such that his "government has declared Black Mallet a disaster area." This declaration, he explained, was "on account of the substantial damage to property, the dislocation of the population in the affected areas and the continuing fears that further disasters may occur." Dr Anthony informed the CDB that specialist engineers are continuing their study of the area to make recommendations to address the problem of land instability.

Sir Neville, who had himself visited the affected area just days before the earth movements began, assured that the request would be given urgent consideration by the Barbados-based CDB, which is already assisting St. Lucia in other areas of disaster mitigation. Among these is the major disaster mitigation project involving the reconstruction of retaining walls along the Castries River, which has been prone to flooding during recent annual hurricane seasons.

The Prime Minister took the opportunity of their mutual presence at the just-concluded 7th Special Meeting of Caricom heads of Government in Trinidad & Tobago to convey to the CDB President the Government and people of St. Lucia’s thanks for his interest in assisting in management of the disaster area at Black Mallet.


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