Wednesday 30 September, 2020

Gov’t pledges US$500K, technical support to hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley reveals aid to be sent to the Bahamas. Rowley was speaking at the Post Cabinet media briefing September 5, 2019.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley reveals aid to be sent to the Bahamas. Rowley was speaking at the Post Cabinet media briefing September 5, 2019.

As groups continue to rally support and pool resources to offer assistance to the Bahamas in the wake of the destruction left by Hurricane Dorian, Government has committed to assist in recovery efforts by providing US $500,000, and necessary technical expertise.

Announcing decisions taken by Cabinet on Thursday, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley told reporters at the Post Cabinet media briefing that a decision was taken to offer support to T&T’s CARICOM neighbour in three key areas.

Government has pledged US $500,000 to assist with purchasing medical supplies and to cover other urgent expenses.

To assist in maintaining law and order on the island, Rowley said 100 personnel from the Defence Force will be deployed to work alongside members of the Jamaican Defence Force, which is also rendering assistance to the Bahamas.

"After conversations with the Government and the Prime Minister of Bahamas the best that we think we can do for them at this point in time is to provide them with some of the discipline and trained manpower they would need to make sure that there is law and order and whatever that kind of manpower can contribute to the kind of governance to the territory.

We have agreed along with our colleagues in Jamaica... to take all necessary steps, the Minister of National Security has been instructed to work with the Chief of Defence Staff and make available to the Government of Bahamas for the direction and use immediately 100 persons from our Defence Force." 

Rowley said this was to be actioned "as soon as logistics would permit" while further details would be provided by the National Security Minister in due course. 

Noting that power has been knocked out across much of the Bahamas, the Prime Minister said seven technical staff from the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC) will be made available to assist in the restoration of the electricity supply.

He said this number may be increased as the country's needs are assessed.

The Prime Minister assured that Government will supply what it can to assist our CARICOM brothers and sisters.

"The one thing we don't want to do is to rush into this devastated area, meaning well, but of course, becoming a problem ourselves. So, we are talking to the Government and would supply what we can supply that the Government would use to bring about the kind of relief that they think they would want to bring about for the population there." 

Rowley said the Bahamian Government has already expressed gratitude for the forthcoming support from T&T's Government.

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