BVI Port Authority: A Story of Resilience From The Heart of The Caribbean

Phoenix Rising: A story of resilience from the heart of the Caribbean

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) are considered an idyllic archipelago, made up of around 60 tropical Caribbean islands, including four main islands – Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Jost Van Dyke.

Popular amongst tourists, the islands, the collective population of which totals just over 31,000, welcomed nearly one million vacationers in 2023.

And whilst it’s clear why the tropical weather and Caribbean fervour is popular amongst tourists, responsibility remains with the locals when the fun stops.

One such example is Hurricane Irma, which made landfall with BVI in September 2017.

Declared a state of emergency by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, the Category 5 hurricane created extensive damage across BVI, particularly on the island of Tortola.

For context, the financial damage to the Islands was staggering – amounting to $3.6 billion (the fourth most financially affected 1 ) , with restoration of electricity taking five months. Most tragically however, was the death of four people.

Crucial to the recovery of the Islands was the recovery of the BVI Port Authority (BVIPA) – with much of the welfare and materials required for the recovery of the Islands needing to be imported via sea. Of course too, was the need to get the tourism sector up and running again as soon as possible, with many visiting BVI via cruise ships.

“Thanks to the resilience and determination of our people, as well as the support of the government, we were able to recover quickly, to be able to serve the people of the territory” shared recently appointed BVIPA Managing Director, Akeem Pickering. “Whilst it was obviously the most devastating state in the history of the BVI, it enabled the Territory to learn a lot, develop new protocols, and implement better building codes/regulations, which means we are now in a stronger and better position to face similar scenarios, which we pray we would never have to again”.

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