Deputy Premier and Minister for Transportation, Works and Utilities Hon. Kye Rymer has promised to address the situation of the public servants who are working in less than favorable conditions on the sister island of Jost Van Dyke. 

The pledge to remedy the situation of the workers on Jost Van Dyke was mentioned during the 31 July sitting of the House of Assembly in response to questions on the matter from Second District Representative Hon. Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull. 

Minister Rymer noted that the situation during his visit to the sister island “Since taking office, visiting the Sister Islands was high on my priority list. I was indeed disappointed to see the conditions of the buildings which house the employees of the Public Works Department and the Water and Sewerage Department.”

The Minister noted that efforts to remedy the matter are being made with funding provided for certain things. “…instructions were given on-site for the Public Works Department to design and produce the Bills of Quantities, which they are currently working on. Mister Speaker, in the meantime, funding has been approved for minor repairs to the existing structure to allow the staff to be adequately housed.”

However it was noted that certain issues that need addressing would not be addressed because of lack of money. “Mister Speaker, unfortunately the 2019 budget did not make any provisions for the purchasing of heavy equipment.”

Meanwhile, Hon. Rymer said that as a short term remedy the matter would be assisted through the Public Work Department’s maintenance programme. Through this initiative, he noted that staff and heavy equipment will be rotated throughout the Sister Islands to assist with clearing road edges, drains, ghuts etc. 

He also mentioned that privately owned heavy equipment from contractors on Jost Van Dyke are sometimes utilized to assist when required. “Mister Speaker, it is expected that the Water and Sewerage Department will receive the spare parts for the apparatuses by the end of this week and they are currently preparing another order to ensure that there are sufficient spare parts,” the Minister said.