Trinidad Express / Stay home and get to work.
That was the message Princes Town MP Barry Padarath has sent to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley who would be leaving on Wednesday to participate in the IV CARICOM-Mexico Summit in Belize.
Padarath also questioned whether the Prime Minister would be visiting other flood-stricken areas in south and central Trinidad before his trip.
He suggested that Rowley send Foreign and CARICOM Affairs Minister Denis Moses and instead stay home and assist in the overseeing of relief efforts.
However, the Office of the Prime Minister disclosed this afternoon that Moses would not be making the trip.
Padarath added that the Prime Minister needed to adhere to the notion that charity begins at home. He said there were areas where residents were facing up to seven feet of flood waters.
“In some instances six days had passed and the Prime Minister was a no show in most parts of the flood affected area,” he said.
Padarath said up to this time the Prime Minister had not properly briefed the country on the state of disaster as well as what the government has put in place through the various arms to provide long term and short term relief.
And he questioned whether the Prime Minister was satisfied that he was leaving the country with all systems in place to deal with the relief efforts being more responsive to the needs of those affected.
He added that the Prime Minister’s admission that Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) had failed to deal with this situation in a structured and coordinated manner should have prompted him to take a more hands on approach to this national crisis.
Padarath called on the Prime Minister to demonstrate compassion and leadership during this time.
During a tour of areas affected by flooding in East Trinidad on Sunday, Rowley promised to review the ODPM’s “repeated failure” to ensure that they had personnel with the right aptitude and attitude.