By SANCHESKA BROWN
Tribune Staff Reporter
OPPOSITION Leader Dr Hubert Minnis said yesterday the government left the people of the Berry Islands to battle a massive bush fire alone for three days, before they “even noticed or sent help”.
In fact, Dr Minnis, who visited the island on Friday, said it was not until the
government learned that he was on the island, that their PLP Member of Parliament, Dr Perry Gomez, even “bothered” to visit.
“The fire was raging near people’s homes and the government never even uttered a statement or showed any concern. It was all over social media, all over Facebook and they did nothing and said nothing. I went on Friday to ensure that no lives were lost and no one injured, luckily that was not the case,” he said.
“I do not know what would have happened to those persons if they did not fight the fire themselves. For those few days, there were no PLP’s or FNM’s, there were just Bahamians working together to save lives and homes. When I arrived, they said they were not surprised that the government did not help them. Shortly after I got there, I got a call that Dr Gomez would be there on a 2:30pm flight. When he did arrive, after the fire was already out, he came with ZNS and a camera crew. He came to grandstand. I did not carry any press with me, I went alone because I went to help the people. The community worked for three days straight to out that fire. They are heroes.”
Dr Minnis also suggested that the island appears to have been neglected by the government as it is still in need of “a lot of work”.
“The clinic needs serious work, which is weird because the Minster of Health is their Member of Parliament,” he said. “The morgue is also totally non-functioning. I did a tour of the island and itemized some things. I will make a statement and address it real soon.”
The raging bush fire tore through nearly 200 acres of land and took residents three days to extinguish. No one was injured during the blaze.