OPPOSITION LEADER DOUGLAS CALLS ON PM HARRIS “TO MOVE WITH HASTE” TO HELP HURRICANE RAVAGED DOMINICA
BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, SEPTEMBER 21ST 2017 – St. Kitts and Nevis’ Leader of the Opposition, the Right Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas has called on the Federation’s Prime Minister to “move with haste” and give urgent assistance to the government and people of Dominica in the wake of devastating Hurricane Maria.
“I just spoke with Prime Minister Skerritt who was in Antigua and conveyed to him, his family and all the citizens of his beautiful country, the sincere condolences of the Parliamentary Opposition, the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party and the good people of St. Kitts and Nevis more generally. I expressed solidarity with the Government and People of Dominica at this time of severe disaster and pledged to do all within our power and as timely as possible to mobilise relief,” Dr. Douglas said in a statement.
“I am making a desperate appeal to the Team Unity Government led by Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris to reach out to the government and people of the Commonwealth of Dominica who were dealt an enormous blow in the wake of Hurricane Maria. The SOS signal on social media from Prime Minister Skerritt, a colleague and brother, in the early hours of the passage of Hurricane Maria was heart-wrenching. He was not only concerned about his own personal dilemma as Head of Government, but he lamented the deplorable condition of the citizens of his country, some of whom he feared would have succumbed to their injuries as the hurricane pummeled the nature isle of Dominica. The death toll has reached to over two scores and continues to climb,” the former prime minister continued in his statement.
Dr. Douglas said the cries of those who lost their homes and who are today exposed to the vagaries of further misfortune ring out to all throughout the Caribbean Region.
“Our own damage pales with those of our sister island of Dominica. While we are presently preoccupied with the post-hurricane clean-up, let us as a country and people not lose sight of our humanitarian obligation to that island in distress,” said Dr. Douglas.
“I therefore call on the Government of St Kitts and Nevis to collaborate with the island of Antigua from which critical relief supplies can be coordinated at this time,” Dr. Douglas said.
He said the list of Dominica’s immediate needs has no doubt been communicated as Prime Minister Skerritt has availed himself of every avenue to disseminate information regarding the needs of his country at this time.
“A state of emergency has been declared on the island. Hence, the joint coordinated efforts can be strengthened from and with the partnership of the government of Antigua and Barbuda,” said the former prime minister, who reiterated “that St. Kitts and Nevis has had its share of devastation and at that time we benefited from tangible assistance from our neighbouring islands.
“Our response in the midst of these natural disaster must be multi-pronged. While we attend to our national priorities, it is no doubt fitting that in the spirit of regional cooperation and brotherhood, we draw on all available opportunities to bring much-needed relief to Dominica as well as leverage our own influence with the international community to generate the assistance required to contribute significantly to the reconstruction process in that country,” said Dr. Douglas.
He said the Government of Prime Minister Harris “must demonstrate its compassion, and its capability and willingness to respond in cooperation with Antigua & Barbuda or any other member state of the OECS at this time of need for Dominica.
“As Leader of the Opposition and of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party, I call upon our government to do the just thing and to do so with haste,” said Dr. Douglas.