182 roofs repaired at end of Red Cross programme

182 roofs repaired at end  of Red Cross programme

The Netherlands Red Cross roof repair programme officially ended on Monday. In total, the project fixed some 182 roofs since it began in January. In photo: A Red Cross construction crew repairing a roof during the project.  

SIMPSON BAY--The Netherlands Red Cross roof repair programme officially ended on Monday. In total, the project fixed some 182 roofs since it began in January.

  Funded via the St. Maarten Trust Fund, the programme focused on repairing roofs that were damaged in Hurricane Irma in 2017.

  The programme selected beneficiaries based on specific criteria. In its early stages, assessment teams canvassed the districts and contacted homeowners and landlords.

  The programme was carried out by 61 construction workers divided into 13 teams. The work took place in Philipsburg, Simpson Bay, Over the Bank, Fort Willem, South Reward and Over the Pond. On some occasions, the work had to be suspended due to coronavirus COVID-19, such as during the lockdown in April.

  The construction workers are to receive a certificate today, indicating that they completed training and gained work experience through the project.

  “The construction workers received additional training on how to build hurricane-resilient. The roofs have been restored based on these principles. The tools have been given to the construction workers in order for them to start their own construction business,” said Red Cross roof repair project manager Birgit Vaes. “We are proud of the results that we have achieved over this period.”

  The Red Cross also held an exhibition in September, where programme beneficiaries received additional information about the project, hurricane preparedness, and how to maintain their new roofs.

  The roof repair programme was an offshoot of Red Cross’ home repair project that ran from February 2018 to October 2019. The home repair project was funded by money raised in the Netherlands following Hurricane Irma.

  Some 675 households received repairs to their damaged homes in this project. The repairs took place in Cole Bay, Cay Bay, St. Peters, Fort Willem, Dutch Quarter, Middle Region, Sucker Garden and Over the Bank.

  “Since Hurricane Irma, the Red Cross has contributed to the recovery and resiliency of St. Maarten through various projects, varying from food assistance to vocational training and the repair of roofs. In the upcoming months, Red Cross will scale down its Irma recovery activities and will resume normal activities,” said the Red Cross in a press release on Friday.

  More information about the Red Cross and its St. Maarten projects can be found on the website

www.redcross.sx.