CHARLESTOWN: Phase one of an initiative designed to provide seniors with free water and electricity, was launched at the Nevis Electricity Services Limited (NEVLEC) Customer Services office by Hazel Brandy-Williams, junior minister responsible for Social Development.
Acting Premier of Nevis and Senior Minister responsible for Social Development, Mark Brantley, described the initiative by the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) through the Ministry of Social Development, Seniors Division, as an important program for the island’s eligible seniors.
“This is a critical initiative; an important initiative for Nevis,” said Brantley. “I am pretty sure that this will be copied in the other islands soon but I am happy that little Nevis is leading the way in showing our appreciation to those who have given us so much. We hope that this will provide some relief to you and it will make your lives a little easier, in this now the winter of your years, so that you can live out those years in a bit more comfort.”
Brantley told those present at the event that the initiative was about the island’s senior citizens, not the Nevis Island Administration. He said the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) had promised in its campaign that if it were elected to office, something tangible would be done for the senior citizens on behalf of the people of Nevis.
“The good programs that already existed, we wanted them to continue and we wanted to develop new programs because we felt that it was important to demonstrate to our seniors that they have paved the way; they are the ones who have created the platform for the Nevis that we now enjoy. So we are committed to this innovative program, saying to our seniors that once they got to a particular age, we felt if they lived on their own without a fixed income, they should be able to access electricity and water for free.
Brantley said he looked forward to the second and third phases of the initiative, in which all seniors eligible for the program would begin to benefit from free utilities.
The month of October has been set aside in Nevis to celebrate the United Nations International Day of Older Persons.