LITTLE BAY, Montserrat – The outcome of a comprehensive review of disability issues in developing Montserrat’s new port was presented to stakeholders on Tuesday, June 27, 2023. This included members of Montserrat Association for Persons with Disabilities (MAPD), who provided support to the review process.
The Montserrat Port Development Project is being funded by the UK Government through £14.4 million grant funding by the UK Caribbean Infrastructure Fund (UKCIF), which is administered by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).
The recommendations from the UKCIF Disability Inclusion report support the Caribbean Development Bank’s (CDB) requirement that everyone benefits from the programmes they administer, including people with disabilities. Helena Grdadolnik of Workshop Architecture was engaged to complete an Assessment of Disability Inclusion in the Portfolio of the UKCIF Programme.
Representing the MAPD at the virtual presentation were Head of Campaigns, Craig Brewin, Treasurer, Nadia Duberry and adviser, Jennifer Joseph.
The report states that persons with disabilities must be involved throughout the development of the port, and other UKCIF-supported projects in the Caribbean. This should include local governments establishing formal contracts with disability organisations to perform audits, user reviews and provide training as required. The audits should be carried out “at key stages in the project,” and progress with disability issues, including accessible design, should be included in each quarterly project report. The consultant has produced a checklist to assist with the work.
The consultant’s report restates the comments on the lack of legal protections contained in the social impact assessment, and points out that issues raised on the CDB’s assessment carried out in 2017 have not been taken forward in Montserrat, particularly concerning employment opportunities after construction. The report included the recommendation that: “During operation, the employing authority to adopt employment rules that comply with the Labour Code” and also that the “concessionary fares policy for passenger escorts, announced in 2019, should be made into a statutory instrument”.
The report collates information from several previous studies and includes the outcome of extensive consultations with persons with disabilities carried out in all the territories with UKCIF projects. This included face-to-face interviews with persons with disabilities in Montserrat.
Source: GMediaPR – goldenmediallc.com