Eighteen months after the devastating destruction of Hurricane Ivan, the Public Works Department staff remains hard at work reconstructing and repairing public facilities. While the country is bouncing back, there are still many persons who have been unable to rebuild. One of those is PWD mason, Asher Hooker.
A George Town resident and PWD employee for seven years, Mr. Hooker’s home was completely demolished by the storm, leaving his family without shelter. Like so many others in similar situations, Mr. Hooker gathered material from the rubble and constructed a tiny lodging on his land, then returned to assist PWD with restoration work.
Unfortunately for Mr. Hooker, the aftermath of Ivan continues. The small lodging that he constructed is still the family dwelling and while money from the Hurricane Recovery Fund covered the cost of erecting the framework of a replacement home, work still needs to be done before it is habitable.
Eight more PWD employees are in similar circumstances and recognizing their plight, management and co-workers created a programme called PWD Difference to lend assistance in the recovery efforts. Members volunteer their time, tools and materials outside of working hours to help reconstruct co-workers’ homes.
‘PWD represents a united team of individuals, not just people who work together,’ explains Human Resources Manager Benjamin Waysome. ‘Donating time and materials for electrical work and window and door installation speeds up construction and will get these people back into houses faster and Mr. Hooker and his family will be in their new home that much sooner.’
‘I am grateful for all the time my colleagues have dedicated to help me and my family,’ said Mr. Hooker. ‘Even though things seem bleak, I remain positive because there are others who don’t have groups like PWD Difference to help them.’