Wednesday, April 17, 2024

AG: Cover a must


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In the wake of the tropical storm that battered hundreds of homes over the weekend, Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite says the time has long come for Barbadians to understand the value of property insurance.
Brathwaite expressed this concern yesterday after Tropical Storm Tomas unleashed torrential rain and powerful gusts that resulted in more than 500 instances of damage.
It ripped off dozens of roof tops, blew away galvanised sheets, and uprooted trees and utility poles late Friday night and throughout Saturday.
Tomas left a trail of destruction that affected hundreds of homes, several of which were uninsured, and Brathwaite, said Barbados should not put property insurance on the backburner.
“Barbadians need to understand the importance of insuring their properties. You can pay your insurance on a monthly basis, insurance companies encourage you to insure your property. You don’t have to get all of your money upfront.”
“It is worrying that often when people lose their homes to fires or disaster of any sort, the house is not insured.”
Yesterday was more like the calm after the storm with mostly overcast conditions and little rain especially in central Barbados.
However, 50 per cent of the country remained in darkness with dozens of Barbadians, mostly from coastline parishes such as St Joseph, St Philip, and St Andrew, having to endure another blackout.
Brathwaite, the Member of Parliament for St Philip South, acknowledged that it was going to take a few days before Barbados got back on track.
“We have got to be patient. This has been tough but we have got to thank God that we have been spared. Some of our neighbours have not quite been as fortunate.
“One of the things about a situation like this is that you learn from it. I have lived overseas and been through hurricanes before, and I have learnt patience.
“I am sure that the Light & Power wouldlike to restore electricity to everyone, but it will take time. There is a process which we have to accept”, he said.
Brathwaite who resides in close to Dodds, said that ironically, he noticed the lights were on in the prison while many on the outside were in darkness.
“One of my boys commented on it and I asked him whether he would rather be here playing Scrabble in darkness, or in prison having electricity.
“The reality is that we can’t do all at once and I am sure that the workmen are doing their best,” he said.
Brathwaite said that everything was being done to bring the country back to normalcy with the Defence Force, Ministry of Housing, Public Works personnel on the ground feverishly assisting in making the main transport arteries accessible.
Government has taken a decision to close all public and private schools today, as some of the schools are being used as storm shelters.
According to Brathwaite, it was a tough decisionbut a necessary one.
“We didn’t plan this event. There are people who have been displaced now in the schools and the reality is, some schools also need a bit of a clean-up.
The Attorney General said that all of the planning agencies had to understand their role and organisation was critical.
“What we are trying to do is to coordinate that information from the Emergency Operations Centre, and make sure that everyone is not running over each other.
“If you speak to most Members of Parliament and Constituency Council personnel, they are on the ground,and my concern is that if you have so many players on the ground, without everyone understanding who they are trying to assist, people can fall over each other and those who really should be helped may fall through the cracks,” he said.


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