PM Harris pledges government’s support to emergency services affected by Maria
The press unit in the Office of the Prime Minister
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – The prime minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, the Honourable Dr. Timothy Harris, was out early Wednesday to personally assess the extent of damages done to homes, businesses and public sector structures by the passage of Category 5 Hurricane Maria Sept. 19.
The prime minister focused his visit on those communities and areas where significant infrastructural damages were reported, particularly in East Basseterre and Constituency Four.
Harris, who was accompanied on his tour by Commissioner of Police Ian Queeley; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security Osmond Petty and National Security Advisor Maj. Gen. Stewart Saunders, visited the Police Training School, the Fire and Rescue Services Department and the Frigate Bay Police Station, all of which received substantial infrastructural damages.
While speaking with the press unit in the Office of the Prime Minister, Commissioner Queeley reported that the roof of the building that houses the male and female barracks at the Police Training School was significantly damaged.
He said “The ceiling became saturated and the water came down. The recruits had to be located to plan ‘B’ and the classrooms were converted into their barracks where they spent the rest of their time. We also received some damage to the instructors’ quarters/mess but that was not too significant.”
In recounting the ordeal, police recruit, Denise Harrigan said, “I went to work for 7 o’clock yesterday morning but the roof was still intact. But while I was at work, I saw a picture and a video of the roof coming off, so when I came over I saw the roof coming off and in the barracks flooded out. So we had to move some of our personal stuff.”
Harrigan also commended Prime Minister Harris for coming out in the early hours of the morning to demonstrate his support and commitment to the officers in training, adding, “It was good of him to do that in such a short period of time. As you can see the place still looks cloudy so it’s good to see that he came out of his house to see what’s going on around St. Kitts.”
In response, the prime minister gave his government’s full commitment to do all that is necessary to help these critical agencies return to a state where they can effectively carry out their duties.
Harris, who was later accompanied by Minister of Public Infrastructure the Hon. Ian Patches Liburd, also got a first-hand look at the conditions of the Irish Town Bay Road and Old Road Bay, which was deemed impassable to vehicular and pedestrian traffic as a result of high waves and the threat of fallen rocks from the hillside.