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The recovery failure of the Archipelago of San Andres, Providencia, and Santa Catalina

Although after Hurricane Iota hit the Archipelago on November 17 of 2020, attention was focused on the Island of Providencia, although this area of the country already had public utility issues even before the storm, as well as an economic crisis related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNal) Caribbean-campus Economist Johannie Lucía James said, “San Andres has always had structural public utility issues, this is not a new situation brought by the hurricane, it has had serious water supply deficiencies and there have been blockages due to this.”

Meanwhile, Anthropologist Ana Isabel Márquez, and also UNal-Caribbean Professor says “One of the gravest issues is due to misinformation as after the hurricane many people left Providencia, maybe due to post-traumatic stress. The humanitarian situation continues to be very delicate.”

Ms. Márquez claims that “In Providencia, there are many people without proper healthcare and most homes continue to be on the ground; people cannot live under these conditions. There is great uncertainness in face of what can happen, as the rebuilding process has been painstakingly slow; the situation in San Andres is different.”

And adds, “In these four months they have only carried out a census which has not been completed: one keeps thinking what the supposed anti-hurricane features are that the Government has referred to and so in the next hard trade wind we won’t be refugees again.”

Finally, Professor Raúl Román says, “Having spoken about 100 days for the recovery of the Archipelago was a bad calculation as it reflects a deep unawareness about the border territories and its people. The Government always arrives with the same logic from center-country which does not apply in this case.”

Listen to the complete radio analysis program at Radio UNAL (98.5 FM) over the recovery of the Archipelago of San Andres, Providencia, and Santa Catalina.

Consejo Editorial