Sint Maarten residents to get hardware store vouchers for hurricane repairs

An USAR team builds a new roof for a Sint Maarten home damaged by hurricane Irma, 20 Sept 2017
An USAR team builds a new roof for a Sint Maarten home damaged by hurricane Irma, 20 Sept 2017. Photo: @USARNL / Twitter

A number of Sint Maarten residents will receive hardware store vouchers within a few weeks so that they can get the necessary supplies to repair their homes damaged by , a spokesperson for the Red Cross said to NU.nl. The vouchers will be distributed to the most vulnerable people on the island, according to the spokesperson.

Getting repair work off the ground is still a challenge, according to the aid organization. While most stores and supermarkets on Sint Maarten are now open again, the hardware stores are still an issue. "There are not many, less than in the Netherlands", the spokesperson said to the newspaper. The Red Cross wants to make sure that the hardware stores can handle the demand for products before distributing the vouchers.

Hurricane Irma hit Sint Maarten in September, seriously damaging about a third of all homes on the island, as well as a large number of roads, the electricity grid and the water pipes. Despite this, life on Sint Maarten is resuming, the spokesperson said. "There is still damage everywhere, but we are working hard to restore everything." The basic necessities like electricity, water and food are all available again.

People having a hard time getting food on the table, receive supermarket coupons from the Red Cross. "With this people can go shopping for the next two months", according to the spokesperson. "This way they can stimulate the local economy themselves."

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