Puerto Rico’s October 30-November 5, 2017 political week in tweets

by | Nov 6, 2017 | Political Week in Tweets | Comments

INNOVATIONS FOR REBUILDING PUERTO RICO

Various companies offered their help and innovative technologies for restoring communications and basic facilities in Puerto Rico. Technologies such as Google’s Project Loon, or smaller initiatives such as K-TOR generators or Lifestraws water filters, are crucial for well-being of the islanders.

Moreover, even before the hurricane hit Puerto Rico, its electricity system as well as other facilities and technologies, urgently needed modernization. Right now, in many parts of the islands it makes no sense to try to “patch” them. Therefore, it is worth trying to rebuild Puerto Rico by using innovative technologies.

 

SCHOOLS REOPEN AFTER HURRICANE MARIA WHILE THE BIGGER PLAN IS TO REDESIGN THE WHOLE EDUCATION SYSTEM OF PUERTO RICO

The situation around the educational system in Puerto Rico is still challenging after the landfall of Hurricane Maria. While schools opened in San Juan and Mayagüez and there has been progress in Bayamon, Ponce, Caguas, Humacao and Arecibo, the main problem is how to ensure safety of them as well as how to overcome the emotional impact of the hurricane. The Secretary of Education of Puerto Rico, Julia Keleher, sees these challenges as an opportunity to rebuild the whole system of public education. The plan is to make public schools safer, more efficient, innovative and competitive.

 

MANY TOWNS AND COMMUNITIES STILL WITHOUT ELECTRICITY SIX WEEKS AFTER HURRICANE MARIA

Government officials claim that more than 40% of the electricity on the islands is already restored. However, this data does not reflect the reality on the islands. While some power plants currently produce electricity, it simply does not reach some places. According to the most pessimistic estimates, only 5% of Puerto Ricans currently have electricity in their homes.

 

AT THE SAME TIME, THE CONTROVERSY AND COMPLICATIONS OVER POWER RESTORATION CONTRACTS MAKE THE PROCESS EVEN SLOWER

FEMA was unaware of the Whitefish contract and learned about it only when it was signed by the board of PREPA. The non-bid contract raised questions over the way it was negotiated and over the ability of a small Montana-based company to handle such a task. Ultimately, Puerto Rican officials decided to cancel the $300 million contract.

WHICH DID NOT MAKE THE SITUATION EASIER…

 

HOW HURRICANES AFFECTED THE PUERTO RICO STATUS DISCUSSION

While the battle for statehood will take longer than expected since recovery efforts take a long time and a lot of efforts, Puerto Rico is now in the foreground of American politics, and this could be a huge asset for challenging the status of the islands of Puerto Rico.