Free National Movement leader Michael Pintard visited Porgy Bay, Bimini on Wednesday where he visited and spoke with persons affected by Sundays fire. He noted that funds should be made available to ensure there is operational fire apparatus on the island, and said that there are citizens willing to volunteer.
By LYNAIRE MUNNINGS
Tribune Staff Reporter
FREE National Movement leader Michael Pintard said the fire in Bimini over the weekend, which exposed dysfunctional firefighting equipment on the island, shows the government must ration its budget better to meet community needs.
Residents in the Porgy Bay settlement battled the flames with hoses and buckets of water. Still, inadequate equipment hindered the effort, with the fire destroying four homes, severely damaging three houses, and displacing 22 residents.
Mr Pintard visited Bimini on Wednesday.
“It is important on the various islands for us to get the necessary resources in order for us to meet the needs of residents, and these are, in some cases age-old problems on some of these islands,” he told The Tribune. “The government ought to prioritize its spending better. We have been quite critical of the misplaced priorities of this administration and their failure to these issues. They would have had sufficient time to observe the decisions we either made or did not make while they were in opposition. And hence, they again, under the guise of being ready to govern on day one, should have put in place an appropriate plan in order to address this issue.”
Mr Pintard suggested the government should let victims import duty-free items that will help them rebuild.
He urged the government to fix firefighting equipment in Bimini urgently.
“Persons on the island are prepared to be of assistance to the government in a number of ways. In terms of the response to any fires, you could see residents sprang into action, and using the limited resources that they have,” he said.
“They sought to assist and then also the technical staff that would ordinarily be involved in trying to address a fire. They clearly have the commitment and the interest, but need the equipment and so the equipment that is on the island has to be fixed and fixed with a sense of urgency.”