As PM Gonsalves toured North Leeward on Dec. 27, 2013, this woman, tells journalist Kenton X. Chance to put her name at the top of the list of persons to receive aid. PM Gonsalves has called for swift action to help the suffering. (IWN photo)

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves has told public servants not to allow rigid demarcation of state agencies and responsibilities to result in a humanitarian crisis in the wake of the 24/12/13 disaster.

“We have a terrible natural disaster and people are suffering, we have enough personnel in the state agencies and in the civil society organisations. I just want everybody to stop think in compartmentalised terms.

“Social Development and NEMO and the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health, they are all one. They were never designed to have walls of separation, and therefore, a suicide pact,” he said.

Gonsalves made the point this week, saying that while successive governments have been trying to build a modern state, the country still suffers from the constraints of the institutional machinery inherited from colonialism.

“And one of the weaknesses which we must correct swiftly, is where there is too rigid a demarcation between the functions of various agencies and institutions of governments,” he said.

He noted that the permanent staff of the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) is just about nine, but added that NEMO consists of all the agencies of government mobilized for the task of reconstruction.

“And at all levels, initiative must be shown,” he said.

Gonsalves said that NEMO can manage the emergency centres and the Ministry of Social Development can assist with the social appraisal.

“Every teacher must be mobilized in the service of this national effort to prevent, to avert, a humanitarian disaster.

“I mean that in the villages, in North Leeward, in South Leeward, in North Central Windward, in North Windward, which are the areas principally affected by this disaster, we need to know from each home, each household, how many persons are residing in the household, the ages, how many are children, what is the damage done to the house, what is the damage done to your fittings, your furnishing, if you lost a fowl cock, I need to know, you lose a sheep or a goat; because these are means by which people make their livelihood. We need to know those who have water and those who do not have water,” Gonsalves said.

Nine persons died and four are still missing when torrential rains from a trough system Christmas Eve night triggered flooding and landslides across the country.

There was also extensive damage to public infrastructure.

“Those who are suffering from high blood pressure and have been affected even worse as s consequence of high blood pressure, the community health system must act with urgency. We are not in normal times, and we require not just an extraordinary response, we need a heroic response,” Gonsalves said.

He noted that there are 6,500 public servants in SVG.

“We need everybody to be working on this. The Red Cross is doing the work, Lions, the Rotary, the churches — we want more of them to be involved. We can’t praise the Lord whom we do not see and love him and not love our neighbour whom we see everyday. We can’t go to church and sing blessed assurance but not giving an assurance in practical terms to our neighbour. We got to do it, and we have to use this to rise and be stronger than ever,” Gonsalves said.

He, however said there are also “ naysayers who will come with other agendas.

“Never mind them; we have the people’s work to do, and the Lord’s work to accomplish,” the Prime Minister said.

5 replies on “If you lost a fowl cock in Christmas disaster, PM wants to know”

  1. I know of no nay sayers, and me and people like me have already done more than the PM who talks a lot, but achieves very little.

    Has he been in his food cupboards and sent all the canned goods down? has his family been in their wardrobes and sent clothing down?

    Well have they?

    He has to stop trying to score political points, its indecent at this time. I hope he remembers what decency is.

    1. Everybody needs to stop point scoring, political or other wise and concentrate on putting the country back together

    2. mohammed fraser says:

      No he didnt you numskull … He took a overdraft at the bank to get people food ..stupes .. why skin so low ..that why our country cant get anywhere..

  2. Ann-marie John says:

    When the righteous are in authority,the people rejoice,but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn. Proverbs 29:2. This scripture verse sums up what is taking place in our nation. Had it not been for the interference of re-routing the Georgetown river when the rabacca bridge was constructed. The 2010 destruction in Georgetown would not have happened. Now we see the leeward side. The water catchment was enlarged in the Vermont valley, river banks were made smaller. Natural escape routes were interfered with, causing destruction, all because of man-made interference. The sayingj is “when you do good, good will follow you, when you do bad, bad will follow you” nough victimization ah go arn is dis little nation a nah. So to sum it up. It’s not natural disaster.. it’s not an act of God. The God that I serve is a good God. These acts of destruction is of the devil. Unless our leaders change from their wicked ways, we will be a nation in mourning as is stated in proverbs 29:2

  3. Hi Peter i want to assure you that the Prime Minister and his family have already done and continues to do much more than any other of his predecessors have done or any of those who will follow will ever be able to do. You should avoid being so critical. In my opinion, you are a self-praising hypocrite who blows his own horn to let everyone know when he gives alms. please don’t blow a horn.

    I wonder what you and others like you could have done more than the Prime Minister.

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