Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat has defended Government against UNC Senator Kadijah Ameen’s criticisms it had failed on managing the flood devastation.
Rambharat said he worked with soldiers on flood relief issues since last Friday, spent seven hours on a truck with Princes Town Regional Corporation workers assisting Mayaro residents and he’d personally ferried emergency medical cases to the Mayaro Health Centre. He said he also assisted workers in putting a pregnant woman on a living room chair on a tractor-trailer to take her to hospital.
“Every finger that could be lifted has been lifted in the last few days and citizens responded, sometimes excessively.
“Yesterday we had too much food. We can’t—for political mileage—diminish the human response that occurred. We chose to allow our Lower House colleagues to handle things while we take the business of the Budget forward,” he explained.
He said going into flood waters “in canoe” wasn’t for everyone, since he had colleagues who he wanted with him in floods and others who he didn’t want to send there.
He said Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon had business contacts and mobilised items. He said he had another Government colleague “get on” to ANSA McAL for a million-dollar donation and yet another got energy companies’ pledges of assistance.
“This (situation) isn’t for gallery, when you give a person something, you don’t say this was brought by X. You do the people’s business and gallery down the road.
“Today’s not the day for that. You don’t need a UNC flag to rescue and help people. I won’t let anyone diminish the work of the people of T&T,” he said, adding he had his boots and tools at the Senate and would change and get back to work after the debate, which was wrapped up yesterday after UNC senators walked out the House.