T&T to help Bahamas with US$500,000, soldiers, T&TEC workers

by Sampson Nanton

Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley has announced that Trinidad and To­ba­go will as­sist the Ba­hamas with sol­diers, elec­tric­i­ty work­ers and US$500,000.

The prime min­is­ter made the an­nounce­ment at Thurs­day’s post-Cab­i­net news con­fer­ence.

Parts of the Ba­hamas have been dec­i­mat­ed by Hur­ri­cane Do­ri­an which hit the is­lands as a pow­er­ful Cat­e­go­ry 5 hur­ri­cane, re­sult­ing in at least 20 deaths.

Dr Row­ley told the me­dia that he has been in touch with the prime min­is­ter of the Ba­hamas, Dr Hurbert Min­nis and that they have dis­cussed what Trinidad and To­ba­go could do for the Caribbean Com­mu­ni­ty (Cari­com) coun­try.

He said 100 mem­bers of the De­fence Force are now prepar­ing to go to the Ba­hamas to as­sist in law and or­der.

With large swaths of the coun­try with­out elec­tric­i­ty, sev­en tech­ni­cal per­son­nel of the Trinidad and To­ba­go Elec­tric­i­ty Com­mis­sion (T&TEC) are al­so be­ing sent to the Ba­hamas.

The prime min­is­ter said that the num­ber will be in­creased once need­ed.

While not­ing that the Ba­hamas is re­ceiv­ing “con­sid­er­able as­sis­tance from US and Cana­da”, he said Trinidad and To­ba­go will al­so pro­vide mon­e­tary as­sis­tance to the tune of US$500,000 to as­sist in pay­ing for some ex­pens­es, in­clud­ing med­ical sup­plies.

Two CARI­COM lead­ers touched down in the Ba­hamas Thurs­day morn­ing to hold talks about re­lief ef­forts.

Bar­ba­dos Prime Min­is­ter Mia Mot­t­ley and St Lu­cian Prime Min­is­ter Allen Chas­tanet ar­rived at the Lyn­den Pin­dling In­ter­na­tion­al Air­port in Nas­sau short­ly be­fore 9 am.

Ac­cord­ing to Mot­t­ley’s Face­book page, they were greet­ed by sev­er­al Ba­ha­mi­an gov­ern­ment min­is­ters, in­clud­ing Min­is­ter of Tourism Dion­sio D’Ag­u­liar, Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion Jef­fery Lloyd and Min­is­ter of Trans­port Ren­wood Wills among oth­er dig­ni­taries.

Both prime min­is­ters were ac­com­pa­nied by CARI­COM Sec­re­tary-Gen­er­al Ir­win La Roque and were lat­er whisked away for a closed-door meet­ing with Min­nis at the Na­tion­al Emer­gency Man­age­ment Ad­min­is­tra­tion (NE­MA) of­fice.

The first large re­lief ship ar­rived in the north­west Ba­hamas on Thurs­day morn­ing, with tug­boats fer­ry­ing pal­lets of wa­ter bot­tles, box­es of ce­re­al and 10,000 hot and cold meals from a Roy­al Caribbean cruise ship to bat­tered Freeport.

But with the grim toll still mount­ing, it was clear a lot more help will be need­ed for the once lush Grand Ba­hama and the neigh­bour­ing Aba­co Is­lands.

Featured Photo: AL Diaz / Miami Herald via AP