Simp­son Miller disin­gen­u­ous about dis­as­ter plan

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION & COMMENTARY -

THE ED­I­TOR, Sir: THE OP­PO­SI­TION Leader Por­tia Simp­son Miller was asked by a re­porter in an in­ter­view on TVJ’s mid­day news aired on Oc­to­ber 3 about whether she was sat­is­fied with the plans that the Gov­ern­ment put in place in light of the threat of Hur­ri­cane Matthew. Her re­sponse was that she did not know what they have done or what they were do­ing.

Simp­son Miller had told jour­nal­ists in the past that she does not watch the news to know what is go­ing on in the coun­try that she led up to Fe­bru­ary 25, and which she hopes to lead again. There­fore, I as­sume that her team mem­bers would ap­prise her of the eco­nomic and so­cial is­sues that are af­fect­ing us all.

Sim­i­larly, I ex­pect that some­how she would have been made aware of the plans that were im­ple­mented, and be­ing con­sid­ered, to mit­i­gate against the dev­as­ta­tion that Hur­ri­cane Matthew would have caused if we got a par­tial or direct hit.

Thus, it was in­cred­i­bly disin­gen­u­ous of her to sug­gest that she was not cog­nisant of the wellpub­li­cised plans that Prime Min­is­ter An­drew Hol­ness and his of­fi­cials put in place.

In demon­strat­ing com­mit­ment to the safety and well-be­ing of all ci­ti­zens and, par­tic­u­larly, the most vul­ner­a­ble, shel­ters across the coun­try were ac­ti­vated and wa­ter and other nec­es­saries pro­vided, as best as pos­si­ble, from days be­fore the sys­tem was ex­pected to un­leash its wrath upon us.

Al­though there were weak­nesses in the dis­as­ter plan, in par­tic­u­lar in­fras­truc­tural de­fi­cien­cies, in­clud­ing in­ad­e­quate drain clean­ing which re­quires ma­jor work to pre­vent flood­ing be­fore the threat of an­other dis­as­ter, Hol­ness and his team toured the is­land to de­ter­mine what com­mu­ni­ties were in need and al­lo­cated re­sources ac­cord­ingly.

I com­mend the hard-work­ing gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, the Church and vol­un­teers, and pri­vate­sec­tor in­ter­ests who worked tire­lessly to en­sure the safety of oth­ers dur­ing this or­deal.

The op­po­si­tion leader must set aside her own po­lit­i­cal ex­pe­di­en­cies and stop demon­strat­ing fla­grant ig­no­rance of the se­ri­ous is­sues. In­stead of try­ing to un­der­mine the work of the Gov­ern­ment, she should work with them for the bet­ter­ment of our coun­try. DUJON RUS­SELL dujon.rus­sell@ya­hoo.com

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