Dr. the Honourable Nyan Gadsby-Dolly feature address at the Distribution of Emergency Repair/Reconstruction Assistance Grant to Natural Disaster Victims on Friday 3rd July, 2020

  • Members of the Mt. Lambert Community
  • The Honourable Terrence Deyalsingh, Member of Parliament for St. Joseph who is hosting us today and the Minister of Health
  • The Honourable Edmund Forde, Honourable Member for Tunapuna and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives
  • Senator Jason Williams
  • Anthony Campbell, Chairman of the National Commission for Self Help Limited
  • Vice- Chairman, Ms. Janice – Perouse Sullivan and other Members of the Board who are present here this morning
  • Edward Julien, Chief Executive Officer of the National Commission for Self Help and other staff of the commission who are here with us
  • Curtis Shane of the volunteer patrie, Grant recipients, members of the media
  • Ladies and Gentlemen, children and there is at least one child or children

A pleasant Good morning to you:

If I say this is the day that the Lord has made, very well, let us rejoice and be glad in it. Because today is a day to give thanks. On the morning of Saturday 27th June there were different reactions around this country. Some people heard the rain and snuggled back into their beds, pull the blankets over their heads and settled in for a nice sleep, you know how we do it.  But many of you here today and I say all of you here today didn’t have that reaction on this particular morning and I will tell you and the Members of Parliament here can be of judge that when the rain begins, no Member of Parliament or no councillor sleeps easy because we know what the rains will bring.

And for those of us who represent hilly constituencies like St. Ann’s East, Laventille West, parts of St. Joseph, parts of Barataria/ San Juan, Arima, Toco, for us it is even worse because a rain and a heavy rain means flood, means landslips, it means infrastructural damage to homes and it means that those who may be resting easy, you certainly cannot.

And on that morning, for us it is a very interesting time not necessarily in a good way and I am sure all of my colleagues would have been feeling the effects of that morning. Your phones would have been going off, people are calling for help and as Members of Parliament and representatives we are called on to respond. I want to tell you that one of the first calls I got on that morning came from CEO Julien, I want to thank him for that, because the National Commission for Self-Help understanding their role and understanding the importance of that role and how we depend on them they were out there leading from in front.

Many of you might know Steven Sam as well. Steven was all over the place and some of the other project officers who were out there understanding that in this time it is a call to service so when that rain hits the roof it says to us, get out there, help your people, you are called to service and that is exactly what we do. And for us to be sitting here just not even a week after that event it means that there are people at the National Commission for Self-Help who understand your needs.

And they know that we depend on them, I want to tell you if you are not sure that the Members of Parliament do have at their disposal the equipment and material of a regional corporation. Some of you may know this but I want to underscore it people understand that when we are called to help, we must depend on other agencies.

When we have these things to attend to, it is very important that the agencies respond with us and if they don’t do that then we cannot help. So when I say we express thanks to the Chairman, the Board Members and the staff of the National Commission for Self Help it is with deep, deep appreciation because if they don’t respond then we cannot.

And I want to let you know that the fact that all these Members of Parliament and all of these distinguished persons are here, it means that they understand what you went through on Saturday, they understand the fear, they understand the stress, the frustration, they understand what it meant when you saw your roof leaving and the rain coming in and their presence here means that they’re doing various things here this morning.

Their presence here is a show of support for you because we understand and we care for this is a very stressing time for you. We care because we know that we represent you and we want to do it to the best of our ability. So let me again thank all the Members of Parliament that are here showing support for the persons that are going to be receiving these purchase orders today. I also want to tell you that there will be other persons who sent in purchase orders that are still in the process, Steven am I correct?

So we do have other people that we are going to be distributing to as the week goes on. So if you have or you know persons in your community that also applied but are not here this morning, please tell them that does not mean that their grants will not be processed.

It just means we are in the process of doing it and they will get their own at the earliest convenience we are on it. We understand, we care and we intend to deliver the purchase orders that you deserve because this is what this is about at the National Commission for Self Help and this is what we are about as representatives of the people. So today we distribute to 100 families and we are happy to do so and as we do that it is with all our best intentions that you will be able to help your family and include your policy or guide with this hurdle that you met. This is our way of reaching out to you and helping you to get over that hurdle on Saturday 27th June.

So, we are very grateful again to the commission for their hard work. It does take hard work to turn out this number of grants. We know you have to visit the homes, you have to ensure what happened, and you have to do the forms. All of that was done in a very quick turnaround time just to ensure that we are able to respond as we should and the commission is doing its work and as Members of Parliament, we are very grateful.

So we look forward to your help in getting to the hardware quickly and get the invoices in because we need those invoices back to be able to get more funds to help more people like yourself who need the help from the government through the National Self Help Commission. So thank you for being here. Thank you again to the Members of Parliament, my colleagues who are here and we look forward to continued support from the Members of Parliament and from the National Commission for Self Help. God Bless.