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Guyana dispatches assessment team to St. Maarten, British Virgin Islands


Guyana on Thursday said it was intensifying efforts to coordinate relief for Guyanese nationals affected by Hurricane Irma in a number of Caribbean islands, particularly St Maarten and British Virgin Islands which both suffered serious devastation following the passing of the Category 5 hurricane.

Chairman of the Ministerial Task Force on the Caribbean Disaster, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo along with Minister of Citizenship Winston Felix who is also a member of the task force,  Thursday held a consultation with the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Major General (Rtd) Joe Singh (who is acting on behalf of Minister of State Joseph Harmon who is currently out of the jurisdiction) and other officials.

Col. (Rtd) Chabilall Ramsarup, Director General of the CDC, briefed the Task Force on the initial plans for Guyana’s response, following a briefing from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials relating to the situation faced by Guyanese nationals in the various islands.

Following the three-hour long meeting it was decided that Minister Felix will head a Guyana Needs Assessment Team that will travel to Tortola in the British Virgin Islands and St Maarten via Antigua to conduct an initial assessment of the needs of Guyanese nationals on the islands and report to the Ministerial Task Force which was appointed by His Excellency President David Granger to coordinate Guyana’s efforts through the CDC.

The visit by the fact-finding mission comes at a time when telecommunication voice and data services are crawling back to normalcy for some subscribers. Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge said Guyana’s Honorary Consul to St.Maarten, Cleavland Beresford’s home has been badly damaged and he has suffered significant losses. The Guyana government has already said it could not actively consider evacuating Guyanese unless it has concrete information.

The Task Force also includes  Carl Greenidge, Minister Harmon, Minister of Finance Winston Jordan, Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson, Minister of Public Affairs, Dawn Hastings-Williams and Minister of Public Service Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine.

The Guyana Needs Assessment Team will comprise officials from the Department of Citizenship, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the CDC.

The Government of Guyana has also decided to double the initial contribution towards relief efforts from US$50,000 to US$100,000.

Prime Minister Nagamootoo expressed deep concern for the welfare of Guyanese, particularly in Tortola and surrounding islands, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke and expressed relief at reports that Guyanese who were evacuated from Barbuda to Antigua are being accommodated by relatives and friends on the main island there.

The Guyana Needs Assessment Team is tentatively scheduled to depart Guyana on Saturday, September 16th and return after conducting assessments in Tortola and St Maarten.

  • Col123

    Bureaucrats at its best… The asses of the Guyanese team… typical neva see com fuh see the natural destruction of a hurricane… and Guyanese voted for these jackasses..where is the water , food, tents, cots and comfort items… bloody idiots!!!

    • Parbudin Mackanlall

      An initial assessment will help determine where aid efforts should be focused and where they will have the greatest effect. Remember we do not want to contribute in an area that is already substantially covered while serious needs continue to exist in other areas. I thought this was how military guys went about things worldwide.

      • Col123

        Since you brought that up, the primary hierarchical needs of human is safety, food and shelter..etc….. and it is never too much…. it goes without saying… other needs follow.. Are you saying that communication doesn’t exist with our government and those affected?.. especially when those countries are experienced in those types of disasters!
        The US military does not trot around any where taking in “empty cases”…food and medicine is usually the first sent in country….. I know personally from missions in Haiti.

  • cuffy

    Hope they all return back home?

  • Ashwan Singh

    Now ? Only now ?

    • Col123

      The folly of this government is the lost opportunity to send a competent educated Senior Military Officer with a Civilian Military Operation MOS..(Mil. occupational Skill) with a platoon to recon … the zones. These guys can tough it in tents and it will add to their training…more bang for the buck… and have them coordinate the zones of relief. This is good PR , training and exposure of our young troops..I thought this government care about our soldiers!!!!
      Where in the world these assessment team plan to stay… at the Trump tower?… but alyou voted for them someOBs..