Above: Grenada (CJ Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
China’s government has agreed to provide $1.33 million in funding to complete the final phase of work on 351 housing units in Grenada’s Mt Gay, Frequente and Soubise.
The agreement was reached last week between Housing Minister Delma Thomas and China’s Charge d’Affaires to Grenada, Chen Robio.
“Immediately upon taking office in February as the Minister of Housing, one of my main and urgent goals was to ensure that scores of Grenadians — the many who so badly need better housing — get into those houses in the shortest possible time,” Thomas said at the signing ceremony. “I immediately contacted the Chinese embassy here on the issue of the assistance of the People’s Republic of China to help complete the project”.
The houses were among a group of 2,000 promised by China to Grenada following the devastation of Hurricane Ivan in 2004, destroying 90 percent of the island’s housing stock. That number was around 29,000 homes, according to government data.
Grenada’s government had initially been slated to provide counterpart financing for the last phase of the project, which included the costs of sewerage, water and electrical installations.
We were fully aware that the Chinese government had up to that point done their part of the bargain,” the Housing minister said.
“They had done everything we had asked of them,” Thomas said. “By coming forward, the assistance of the People’s Republic of China, have — in a way –taken our feet from the fire.”
Grenada’s government said that a technical team would be arriving from China to begin the final phase of work.
Thomas first announced that China would be helping with the final phase last month.