Let the 25th anniversary of the volcanic crisis be a wonder

July 19, 2019

We continue to remember that it has been 24 years since the beginning of the volcanic devastation in Montserrat, which to some extent has not ceased.

While there were a range of strategic documents emanating from the Strategic Growth Plan, there is still to come a coherent, meaningful strategic view of the self-sufficiency, we continuously hear of. That however leaves a bad sound and taste as there is so much to be done before such a ‘meaningful strategic view’ gets anywhere in the mind, much more on the tongue.

24 years on, the MVO still reminds residents (it is their job, we repeat) and visitors alike that even though the volcano has been quiet for more than nine years now major activity can still occur at any time without warning. (See todays volcanic report)

The records show that the last activity of any significance according to the Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO) occurred in February 2010, when there was a dome collapse to the North East of the volcano.

Some time ago, Honourable Premier Donaldson Romeo said that in spite of the present challenges the people of Montserrat are blessed. Premier Romeo says while residents reflect on the past losses the time should be used to look ahead on the many positives that have emerged as a result of volcanic activities.

This was in 2016. “Look at what is happening around us we are having a new power plant built, we also have geothermal wells being dug with a hope of being 100% green by 2020 or there about,” he said  “That’s a major thing ahead of most of the region with enough power to supply all we need and more, should those wells be developed as we planned and even with the solar power project that we’re planning to have.”

When the MDC (Montserrat Development Corporation) began functioning 2007-08 a new Sustainable Development Plan was created and that was to run for 12 years to 2020. Later the plans that led to the Sustainable Growth Plan (SGP) that got its blessing and support was to begin bearing fruits (some at least) in 2018.

BUT, there came a stall, unfortunately perhaps in an election year, 2014, the ‘unnecessary’ death of MDC further stagnation and today in another election year, 2019 the population decreasing by 8% by 2018, the Premier says it is not about campaign promises, with £30 million pounds already approved, “but rather what has been done what the government is doing – the government is busy tying down, managed in the end to agree to a capital program (a suggested figure to grow to £60-70 million) a hospital project, fiberoptic project, port project, housing projects, the airport runway and tower, tourism projects to improve the trails and beaches, and the Volcano interpretive station center, other maintenance projects – trying to make sure we get the project small and large to the stage we’re there ready for it to be implemented…”

High on the program is a fit for purpose Secondary School, while making the existing school improved as it can be, while getting second opinions over that which may be corruptive similar to that which involved ‘asbestos’ in roofs etc.

While not final, the Premier must tell the people how important it has been and is, to position Montserrat to “spend the money” and “finish the projects” as he said in that ZJB report.

That way, those ways, getting the long-overdue conversations to take place, doubtless when 25 years of volcanic crisis rolls around, the wonder will be what would look like when eyes open after successful cataract surgery. And it could even be sooner!

See related: Flashback July 18, 1995

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July 19, 2019

We continue to remember that it has been 24 years since the beginning of the volcanic devastation in Montserrat, which to some extent has not ceased.

While there were a range of strategic documents emanating from the Strategic Growth Plan, there is still to come a coherent, meaningful strategic view of the self-sufficiency, we continuously hear of. That however leaves a bad sound and taste as there is so much to be done before such a ‘meaningful strategic view’ gets anywhere in the mind, much more on the tongue.

24 years on, the MVO still reminds residents (it is their job, we repeat) and visitors alike that even though the volcano has been quiet for more than nine years now major activity can still occur at any time without warning. (See todays volcanic report)

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The records show that the last activity of any significance according to the Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO) occurred in February 2010, when there was a dome collapse to the North East of the volcano.

Some time ago, Honourable Premier Donaldson Romeo said that in spite of the present challenges the people of Montserrat are blessed. Premier Romeo says while residents reflect on the past losses the time should be used to look ahead on the many positives that have emerged as a result of volcanic activities.

This was in 2016. “Look at what is happening around us we are having a new power plant built, we also have geothermal wells being dug with a hope of being 100% green by 2020 or there about,” he said  “That’s a major thing ahead of most of the region with enough power to supply all we need and more, should those wells be developed as we planned and even with the solar power project that we’re planning to have.”

When the MDC (Montserrat Development Corporation) began functioning 2007-08 a new Sustainable Development Plan was created and that was to run for 12 years to 2020. Later the plans that led to the Sustainable Growth Plan (SGP) that got its blessing and support was to begin bearing fruits (some at least) in 2018.

BUT, there came a stall, unfortunately perhaps in an election year, 2014, the ‘unnecessary’ death of MDC further stagnation and today in another election year, 2019 the population decreasing by 8% by 2018, the Premier says it is not about campaign promises, with £30 million pounds already approved, “but rather what has been done what the government is doing – the government is busy tying down, managed in the end to agree to a capital program (a suggested figure to grow to £60-70 million) a hospital project, fiberoptic project, port project, housing projects, the airport runway and tower, tourism projects to improve the trails and beaches, and the Volcano interpretive station center, other maintenance projects – trying to make sure we get the project small and large to the stage we’re there ready for it to be implemented…”

High on the program is a fit for purpose Secondary School, while making the existing school improved as it can be, while getting second opinions over that which may be corruptive similar to that which involved ‘asbestos’ in roofs etc.

While not final, the Premier must tell the people how important it has been and is, to position Montserrat to “spend the money” and “finish the projects” as he said in that ZJB report.

That way, those ways, getting the long-overdue conversations to take place, doubtless when 25 years of volcanic crisis rolls around, the wonder will be what would look like when eyes open after successful cataract surgery. And it could even be sooner!

See related: Flashback July 18, 1995