In 2014, flooding caused much damage to some 6,000 homes in the UK. David Cameron donned his wellies (long boots) on a walkabout in the areas affected by the floods and instantaneously promised to pay each householder £5,000 as a “repair and renewal” grant. As the head of government, he delivered on that promise.
When Bharrat Jagdeo was in office, he also visited the flood victims during his tenure and instantaneously offered each householder at that time $10,000 as a “flood relief” grant. He also delivered on that promise.
Today we have Minister Ronald Bulkan and Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo visiting the people of Rupununi in their dress shoes and all they can offer the people affected by the flood is a delayed concept of “contemplation”, and after one month they have not delivered on it as they keep themselves distant from the misery of the ordinary people.
In the National Assembly when asked the question about what compensation is on the table for the flood victims in the hinterland, especially Region 8, this is what Bulkan said, “The question of compensation is not normally one that is provided by the state in situations such as this. What will be contemplated is assistance”. Well, that is a plain untruth because I have already pointed to two examples in two countries where compensation was offered without all that bureaucratic bunkum from Minister Bulkan.
For his edification, the meaning of compensation according to the Cambridge dictionary is “the action of awarding money or resources for losses”. Similarly, the meaning of assistance is “the provision of money and resources to help someone.” So who is Minister Bulkan trying to fool? And why can’t he just ensure with haste that those who are suffering are given the resources to stabilize their lives?
I call on Minister Bulkan to deliver a cash grant to the flood victims of Guyana, but then I remembered, his name is not Harmon. So I am calling on Minister Joseph Harmon to facilitate a cash grant for the householders who suffered from the 2017 floods.