Princes Town MP, Barry Padarath has slammed the decision of Prime Minister Keith Rowley to travel to Belize tomorrow to attend a conference in the face of thousands of citizens being affected by massive floods throughout the country, with little or no relief from state agencies.
Padarath stated that the Prime Minister needed to adhere to the notion that charity begins at home. Padarath questioned whether Rowley intended on visiting south and central Trinidad that was still under up to 7 feet of water. In some instances six days had passed and the Prime Minister was a no show in most parts of the flood affected areas. He called on the Prime Minister to send the Minister of Foreign Affairs to the conference on natural disasters and instead stay home and assist in the overseeing of relief efforts. He added that 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.
The MP stated that the Prime Minister’s admission that 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.
He indicated that the Prime Minister’s penchant for passing the buck of responsibility to someone else in a crisis was not going to cut it this time.
He further 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.
The Princes Town MP chastised Rowley once again and reiterated his call for the Prime Minister to demonstrate compassion and leadership during this time. He noted that the Prime Minister had accused former PM Kamla Persad Bissessar of having hot foot but that it appeared the tables had turned double fold. Padarath stated that he wanted to tell Dr. Rowley to stay home and get to work. This trip will be the eighteenth overseas trip Rowley would have taken in twenty five months according to the Gazette of Trinidad and Tobago.