In this world, attention span is short, people forget quickly, media is often on to the next in no time and politics and the gods in them that we worship quickly return to their thrones of attention. The Government needs to give a new official update on the status of the living conditions on all islands affected by Hurricane Joaquin. We need to know the state of home and business repair. How many homes have been repaired and replaced thus far? How many homeless storm victims have been given the temporary trailer-housing facilities the government claimed it paid for? How much money has been donated to NEMA to-date and what is the specific breakdown of how the money has been spent thus far? How have agencies like Social Services specifically assisted storm victims, including those who re-located to other islands immediately after the storm? We need to know the state of repairs to public infrastructure and facilities and the restoration of essential utilities to all areas. We need to know the state of physical and mental health post-storm. We need to know how the economies of those islands are faring now. We need to know the level of joblessness created by the storm. We need to know the condition of the children and their schooling/education on these islands. We need to know the environmental impacts of the storm. We need to know the impact and performance thus far of Exigency Orders. Weeks ago, State Minister Halkitis said not too many victims had taken advantage of the Exigency Orders up to that point. Of course not – if you have no money and no job, what items are you going to bring in from foreign within 90 days for duty and VAT exemption? We need to know what is going on to-date. Just because new stories have captured our attention does not mean the realities of the devastation caused by Joaquin have disappeared.
In the aftermath of Joaquin’s devastation and the failed government response prior, during and after the storm, our elected officials are not only showing their lack of honor and integrity, but also a shameless lack of conscience. People and their children were forced to escape for their lives into their CEILINGS AND CARS FOR OVER A DAY because there were no shelters open for them to go to. Have you ever looked at the ceiling of where you live? Ever been up in there? Imagine spending at-least 20 hours in there terrified because if the water rises any higher, you and your children will drown right up in that ceiling. People were not able to safely protect life and property because by the time they knew what was going on, weather conditions made such attempts at precautions unsafe. If a structure’s windows and doors are properly secured before a hurricane, it can increase the chance of preventing roofs from being blown off the structures or being otherwise compromised. But with no appreciable advanced notice, how many would have had time or immediate ON-ISLAND resources to safely carry out such measures? Satellite phones that all island officials ought to have had were inoperable or officials did not know eachother’s numbers. People were unable to communicate with persons on their island or outside their island for as much as a week during and after the storm. People were forced to swim from settlement to settlement in a desperate quest for survival. No shelters available to go to. And those are just some of the horrors. We have not heard anywhere near the half of them all. I can personally attest WITH EVIDENCE to what I speak of regarding the communications failures as well as some of the harrowing rescue attempts being carried out during the height of Category 4 conditions in the Central & Southeast Bahamas of persons trapped or hunkered in homes that were crumbling and being ripped apart around and on top of them. Continue reading
Flights and ships with relief supplies are going to ALL the islands affected by Hurricane Joaquin, NOT JUST ONE. Some Bahamians who do not have family on these islands or genuine concern for the lives affected need to stop being petty, hateful and heartless. On a simple common sense human level, Long Island has thousands more persons living there than the other islands, so by COURSE, that would and should mean they would end up getting more of the supplies BY VOLUME. That doesn’t mean supplies are not earmarked for all the other islands. But the problem is, people (including politicians) with no family on any of these islands or genuine human concern for our storm victims are not looking at HUMAN BEINGS on these islands, they are looking at POLITICS and in some cases SKIN COLOR – hence them being hateful and/or making noise without knowing what is really going on. And that’s the raw cold truth. It is the Bahamas Government that has not facilitated getting supplies to parts of Acklins, Crooked Island, Mayaguana, South Long Island, etc that have been cut off from the rest of the Bahamas and the world since last week. Bahamian and foreign donors alike already have so much supplies ready for those islands, they just need to be able to get to the areas still not reached. Alfred Gray himself said THE GOVERNMENT (AND ITS AGENCIES) HAS NOT GONE TO THESE AREAS BECAUSE OF FLOODING (EVEN THOUGH THAT’S WHAT BOATS AND AIR DROPS ARE FOR). And there are still many areas of South Long Island too that are not getting immediate help because of flood waters that have yet to recede. Continue reading
REPORT TO NATIONAL MEDIA: NEMA Chief Stephen Russell tells the national media today that while NEMA HAS NOT RECEIVED ANY REPORTS OF DEATHS OR MISSING PERSONS AT THIS TIME, NEMA still has to go “door to door and street to street to satisfy itself” that there are no [dead] bodies in any of the homes or structures on the storm ravaged islands. Several areas of Long Island, Acklins, and Mayaguana remain cut off from other areas due to flood waters that still have not yet receded. Communications to some of these areas had taken almost a week to be established.
NATIONAL MEDIA REPORT – Wednesday, October 7
(VIDEO) NEMA Chief Captain Stephen Russell confirms to my online media page that the Commissioner of Police is now investigating what he referred to as “unconfirmed” storm deaths on Long Island. Mr. K. Darron Turnquest, speaking to me via the Facebook Group “Long Islanders Association” said quote: “We have confirmed deaths in Long Island…this is the information coming to members of the Association.”