 Continued from previous page The economic and fiscal environment was marked by many negative occurrences. These included but were not limited to:  A dramatic fall-off in government revenue  A significant increase in government expenditure  A sharp decline in national income  Doubling of unemployment within the first two years of the onset of the events  Capital was exported in the form of savings  The need for massive financial investments in new commercial and residential properties in the Safe Zone  Diminution of remittances from overseas  Rapid appreciation of land values in the Safe Zone  Property rentals increasing – home occupancy decreasing  Off-island transport became unreliable – even fickle Life on Montserrat became highly stressful with great anxieties, uncertainties and unknown risks to health in the long run. The bonds, ties, mores and norms of a very close-knit society were subjected to severe strain. Families had to endure unavoidable separation because of migration. Children and the aged were the most vulnerable to the dramatic changes. The ultimate impact of these effects may influence the health and well-being of Montserratians for several generations. There are many young, qualified, capable Montserratians now living overseas. There is a patriotic and vibrant diaspora but the loss of skills and talents has been great. The loss of psychological independence at the individual and national level may prove to be one of the most devastating of the unquantified psychological impacts.  Continues on next page A new volcanic dome appearing in Montserrat in 1996. 16

17 Publizr Home

You need flash player to view this online publication