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Trucks carrying fridges and stoves for disaster victims arrive at the Spring Village Primary School on Wednesday. NEMO says it has taken steps to prevent persons from claiming the same items more than once. (IWN photo)
Trucks carrying fridges and stoves for disaster victims arrive at the Spring Village Primary School on Wednesday. NEMO says it has taken steps to prevent persons from claiming the same items more than once. (IWN photo)
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Director of NEMO, Howie Prince. (IWN file photo)

The National Emergency management Organisation (NEMO) says it has taken steps to prevent persons from receiving replacement fridges, stoves, or mattresses more than once, as has happened in Buccament Bay.

“We are learning from the first process [and] whatever teething issues there might have been,” Howie Prince, director of NEMO, told I-Witness News in Spring Village on Wednesday, where persons affected by the Christmas Eve trough system received fridges, stoves, mattresses, and bed sheets as part of the on-going relief effort.

“One of the things that we made sure we stopped from happening today, was that there were people who were at the shelters who were also receiving mattresses and stoves and fridges at Buccament,” Prince said.

“When people tell you that some of the people received three or four mattresses before, they got them at the shelter. It didn’t mean that NEMO gave them the four or five mattresses. People who go to the shelters, businesses, other people, gave it to them. We can’t stop that.

“But the villagers are watching and they are seeing what everybody gets. It’s a very transparent and open situation in terms of a village. A village has eyes and ears that you don’t know of,” he further said.

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Last week, two villagers told I-Witness News in Buccament Bay that multiple members of the same households had received appliances and mattresses and others who were not affected by the flood, claimed they had been and also received the relief items.

(See video at end of post)

Prince said that NEMO has “caught on”.

“It happened because that particular family was still in a shelter and so the people, when the name came up for mattresses again, then they were receiving additional to what they got,” he explained.

“So, that has taught us that we are not doing distribution to people in shelter here. We will keep their things until such time that they are relocated. They will get it. We will keep it in a safe place for them so that when they move back into their homes, then these will be provided for them,” Prince said.

Prince also said that based on the lessons learnt from the first distribution exercise, an inquiry/complaints desk was also set up in Spring Village.

“When we went there (Buccament Bay) the first time, we didn’t have that. So I was the lone complaint desk. We made sure that didn’t happen this time. We brought our full complaint desk, so that if your situation was not dealt with, you come across quietly, tell us what has happened, we take the information, research it, we compare it against whatever database we have, and, once we authenticate, you are entitled, you lost your fridge and your stove, you will get it another time,” Prince told I-Witness News.

He said there have been cases where persons had not reported their loss to NEMO but were expecting to receive replacement appliances and mattresses.

He said that in some instances, they persons were not at home when assessors visited, while others had abandoned their properties.

“There are times when you just can’t find people to collect the information as needed. What people have to do is come back to us, to report that you see fridges being shared out and you didn’t get one. Why? We will try to answer that question and we will make sure that as long as your are supposed to get one, based on the report, that you get one in a few days, sometime down the road,” Prince said.

“If you report it on the radio station, we don’t get it. You can call any number of radio stations as many times as you want. It has not been reported to NEMO. We have a process for taking information. Right now, there are people who are sitting there with all the requisite forms that are necessary to capture even the social data that is necessary to complete this process,” Prince said.

He emphasised that the process is an on-going one. “It is a process where we have to continue to carry out the assessment. The assessment changes, people’s situation change, and we have to document that, almost on a day-by-day basis.”

Prince said that while NEMO continually prepared for disaster, a real disaster tests the situation.

“It is continuing to allow, to build the system,” he said.

9 replies on “NEMO stamping out exploitation of disaster relief distribution”

  1. I said it before so I will say it again, and again, and again, and again. Here there and everywhere, I will say it again.

    Its most unfortunate that people took encouragement from what the PM said. It has encouraged people to be greedy and downright dishonest. Had he said such people would be dealt with severely, instead of saying “it would be better that those not affected get relief get, than those 50 who need relief have delay in them getting it” in other words give it to anyone that asks for it.

    That falls in with the ULP greed teachings “own the jobs” “own the government” “OWN THE AID”.

    If you want a greedy person as a neighbour vote Labour.

    Marxism calls for the destruction of society as we know it, destruction of the fabric of society, destruction of the honesty and decency, so as to rebuild a new society in the Marxist mould.

    Just something to dwell on, watching a program about the French president, a man said “if our leader cannot be trusted in his private life, can we trust him in his public life”

  2. It’s because of the last article on IWN that they had to own up to the unfairness in Buccament. Good job Kenton, he couldn’t deny it, because it came from the horses mouth. And this is what people have been telling the NDP to do for years. Just talking on radio is not enough, properly document things and have poeple tell their story and no one would be able to deny it.

    Mr Nemo you all need to do better, this is not ULP relief, this is Vincentians, all Vincentians who got affected relief. And i believe that if it wasn’t for the video, you all would say that it wasn’t true, but you all were caught with your pants down again, and you had to own up to it.

    Kenton good job, maybe because of the video a few less Vincentians will be victimized. And unless the spotlight is on them, they will do it and deny. Keep the fire burning on them Hahah. They too wicked, Keep the fire burning.

  3. Urlan Alexander says:

    On Wednesday the 29th January one household in Spring village, North Leeward received 5 fridges and 5 stoves. 5 adults members of the said family received the items from a minister of government. All NEMO has to do is carry out a proper investigation of the names that received the items and where they live, What they would find will be shocking and embarrassing, The failure to include local personnel and the inclusion of politics is the main reason why this is happening. While Mr. Prince is saying one thing the political directorate is doing something else.

  4. This is the kind of thing that makes me skeptical about giving aid to Govt. Government will also use politics even in a disaster situation to their benefit.
    If possible its best to use a reputable organization like Red Cross, or if you know someone who is in need, just give to them personally.

  5. It has taken 15 years for an official controlled by the ULP government to admit this is happening. The NDP and those treated unfairly new all along that the ULP were operating an unfair distribution system during national or localised disasters.

    It is a fact for sure, that it was Kentons video that brought this to the forefront, forced Mr Nemos hand to expose his arse. Thanks Kenton for great investigative reporting.

    But what in the name of crap is Gonsalves and Francis doing the job of NEMO and the Red Cross for. Well I am sure that is most obvious, so as they can score a political point from a tragedy that was partially caused by their governments action in the first place. I am talking about granting planning permission to a resort and housing in a known floodplain.

    Go to those peoples homes and take away all that they have been given, not just the extra, everything.

  6. We might be SHOCKED to find out some of the people who got more than their fair share were “die-hard” or ordinary NDP supporters. But they greedy and want to grab all. The bowlie will soon buss and all the information will come out. STAY TUNE!

  7. To Blane and Urlan it is time for Vincentian to stop this gutter politics, by blaming political party for everything that goes on in the country. This is the 21st century but here you are still debating as such as the 19th & 20th century by your opinion that the incumbent Government is only issuing relief aid to its party members. This is also how the opposition party see it as we’ll and this only shows how underdeveloped the NDP is. NEMO is a Government agency which are dedicated to delegate the relief aid, the Government do not have to get involve personally because they have their day to day portfolio. It is time for us to rise above these petit politics and understand that there are department which a Government put in places to deal with issues in the country and these public servants to whom we are to blame for there incompetent. Let us put country first and not party first, remember it’s the Government who have the best development plan to take country forward and not the Government who may tell you at a political meeting that they would give you galvanise and blocks to gain your votes. Please take heed ( think Development for all)

  8. @William

    Are you just stupid or just ignorant, either way you have no sense. Everything you post there doesn’t make any sense and borders on stupidity. And you’re pretending that these guys are hands off and don’t interfere with Nemo, and that is the height of stupidity, let me ask you this, does Francis work for Nemo? because he had a bullhorn calling people’s name, he and the PM both, do they work for Nemo?

    And you’re here trying to act like I am some NDP supporter, and let me tell you, I am not apart of any party, so i can blast anyone on either side for foolishness, it just so happens that the ULP’s foolishness has put our country in debt and has saddled SVG with debt for a long time even when they leave office.

    William don’t ever reply to me again with any of you party drivel, you support the ULP at the cost of the country but that’s your constitutional right, but at least my conscience is clear, I would never support any government that openly victimize Vincentians.

    “Own the jobs, Own the country” that’s the nonsense that came out of the ULP and thanks to you all, most Vincentians now have to own poverty, own pressure and an ever increasing lower standard of living. That is the fact, don’t come and tell me what year it is, go and tell your communist, socialist leader what year it is. You have the gaul to come and talk bout country first?

    Don’t ever call my name again, I do not converse with wicked evil people.

  9. Folks, This NEMO guy denied any underhand things were taking place. Check out Kenton’s video. Now he’s giving some half- arse excuse blaming others. He screwed-up because he didn’t do any investigation of the disaster and who were affected. That list could have indicated where the resources were needed. There are documented proofs that the government with the help of NEMO screwed up. It was necessary for NEMO to get in touch with people whose houses were damaged or washed away. I am not buying the excuse they were not at home. Of course they were not there, because the house was gone and they have to live elsewhere. It’s NEMO duty to follow the trail to find these people. How do those people who lost everything know they are entitled to get resources? NEMO has to publish the info and follow up with inquiries. Not everyone has the internet, radios, TVs or cell phones to be in the know. Some folks don’t even have food, much less these expensive toys. So NEMO get your arse out there and find the people who badly need assistance.

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