Minister of Social Protection, Amna Ally, said land has been acquired for the construction of a new Drop in Centre at Sophia. Minister Ally told the Government Information Agency (GINA), that since her assumption to office, she has been working to move ahead with the construction of the new Drop in Centre to properly cater for vulnerable children.
“Since I’ve come to this Ministry I have been able to secure a piece of land where we are going to build the Drop in Centre. We are currently awaiting the paper work to be done so that we can go ahead with the construction,” Minister Ally explained.
The Minister of Social Protection explained that the current building was proven inadequate to house vulnerable children. It lacked needed the required facilities and space.
Ally said once completed, the new building will accommodate children and three families and will have all the necessary facilities and safety features.
Minister of Social Protection, Amna Ally
In July 2016, the Drop-in Centre at Hadfield Street, was destroyed by a fire which claimed the lives of brothers; six year old Joshua George and two year old Antonio George.
The preliminary report on the fire found that the centre had systematic problems and bad policy arrangements for fire.
Meanwhile, plans are also moving apace for the construction of a shelter for victims of Domestic and Sexual abuse. The shelter will be constructed in the compound of the Mahaica Hospital.
Minister Ally explained that the design has been completed and the ministry is currently awaiting approval from the Islamic Development Bank for the project to commence.
Ally said the shelter will be able to accommodate 20 families or about 100 persons; mainly survivors of domestic violence. “At the end of the day when you’re finished doing all the different things what next? What do you do with the survivors? There must be a place to shelter them and that is what we’re working towards,” Minister Ally underlined.
The minister said her Ministry is also working on several rolled over projects including the rehabilitation on the Palms and the Ministry’s Cornhill street location among others.
Additionally, the Ministry is constructing sidewalks at probation officers offices in Regions Five and Six so as to allow easier access to their offices.
From the $16.6B allocated for the Social Protection Ministry in the 2017 National Budget, $20M will be used for preliminary works on the Sophia Drop in Centre and $4M for the construction of the domestic violence centre.