Saint Lucia’s agriculture industry took a massive hit from the passage of Hurricane Elsa on Friday, with a preliminary estimate of damage to crops, including bananas and plantains, put at over $34 million.
Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, made the disclosure Sunday night when he, Infrastructure Minister Stephenson King and Agriculture Minister, Ezechiel Joseph, appeared on the National Television Network (NTN) to provide an update to the nation.
“The greatest amount of damage was in agriculture,” the Prime Minister disclosed.
He also revealed that Hurricane Elsa damaged the CDC buildings and the roofs of several schools.
However, in terms of individual houses, Chastanet explained that the assessment is still ongoing.
And he expressed the hope that a more accurate picture will emerge on Monday.
The Prime Minister, who is also responsible for Finance, said Saint Lucia has obtained word from the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF), regarding the numbers the facility has so far received.
As a result, Chastanet told the nation that Saint Lucia is not going to be expecting a significant payout.
“More than likely just the deductible that we have which is about 130 thousand US dollars,” he stated.
“So it means that the Ministry of Finance is already looking for ways to reallocate existing funds to be able to assist in getting the Ministry of Agriculture back on track and certainly, working with the Ministry of Infrastructure in dealing with some immediate needs and really the big one will be the Ministry of Education and through the Ministry of Equity, some of the individual households, particularly to the more vulnerable in our society,” he observed.