Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Kamla Village in St Vincent?

Read the story in the NEWSDAY report below:

‘Kamla Village’ now in St Vincent
IN 2004 after Hurricane Ivan hit St Vincent and the Grenadines, then Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Patrick Manning provided resources to the Caribbean neighbour, and Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves named a village after him in gratitude.

Now “Kamla Village” may join “Manning Village” as Gonsalves has indicated his desire to name a village after current Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, as this country has begun assisting St Vincent following devastating flooding and landslides on Christmas Eve.

Gonsalves made the comment on Saturday following a high level meeting of local and regional officials, on rehabilitation efforts, following a trough that dumped heavy rains upon St Vincent, causing major infrastructural damage.

The heavy rainfall led to the deaths of nine people, including Gonsalves’ 62-year-old cousin Raymond Gonsalves, who died in Manning Village, where he moved following Hurricane Ivan. Four more people are missing, and feared dead.

At the meeting, Gonsalves turned to Regional Security Coordinator Rear-Admiral Richard Kelshall, from Trinidad and said, “I would like very much to call a village Kamla Village”, an indication of the support he is hoping to receive for his weather-ravaged nation.

The announcement was noted by the Office of the Prime Minister and the message passed on to Persad-Bissessar, currently in New York visiting her ailing sister Sally Ahmad, but there was no response up to press time.

Yesterday the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) accepted donations from the public for relief items to be sent to St Vincent.

ODPM CEO Dr Stephen Ramroop, speaking to Newsday in a telephone interview, reported that the items will be sent on five containers on the fast ferry TT Spirit which is scheduled to leave Trinidad for St Vincent at 12pm today.

The requested items included: mattresses, collapsible water jugs, toiletries, bath towels, diapers, hygiene kits, water purification tablets; hardware supplies like galvanised sheets, shovels, rope and nails; and medical supplies like pillows, bed sheets and industrial washing machines and dryers. Ramroop expressed thanks to everyone who donated yesterday, and noted the donation process went well. There were no reports of “hitches”.

He recently toured St Vincent and described the impact as similar to what he has seen with flooding in the Diego Martin community in North West Trinidad. Dr Ramroop noted in St Vincent, there were 10 to 15 areas with landslides, severe water damage, collapsed houses, infrastructure damage, impassible roads, destroyed bridges, destroyed crops and a lot of road debris. He said water, food and shelter were the major needs for the country.

The trough conditions also affected St Lucia, where six people were killed, and also Dominica. St Lucia has received relief supplies from Trinidad and Tobago and Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony has expressed his gratitude. Ramroop has also toured St Lucia, but noted that St Vincent was worse hit.

“St Lucia is better off than St Vincent,” he added.

He noted that St Vincent completed their initial needs assessment, but there will be an ongoing needs assessment process. He reported that officials of the National Operations Centre were yesterday surveying St Vincent in a helicopter to do an aerial damage assessment. Also yesterday the Trinidad and Tobago Red Cross Society (TTRCS) in a release issued an appeal for donations of non-perishable food items and water to assist St Vincent, St Lucia and Dominica following the severe weather damage.

TTRCS noted that the people of St Lucia were doubly affected when a fire broke out in a warehouse belonging to the St Lucia Red Cross, destroying relief items, including mattresses, intended for distribution to the affected residents.

All donations can be brought to the headquarters of the TTRCS at 7A Fitzblackman Drive, Wrightson Road Extension, Port-of-Spain. Persons living in San Fernando and environs can take their items to our South Branch located at #2 Ruth Avenue, San Fernando. If you live in Tobago and would like to donate, the Tobago Branch is located at Signal Hill. TTRCS noted that they are not collecting clothing at this time.

For more information please call the TTRCS at 627-8215, 8128 (POS) or 652-2024 San Fernando or 639-2781 Tobago.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai