Anger Over Minnis Advice On Donations

FNM Leader Hubert Minnis

FNM Leader Hubert Minnis


Tribune Staff Reporter


FREE National Movement Leader Dr Hubert Minnis yesterday called for persons donating to Hurricane Joaquin relief efforts to make all donations to the Bahamas Red Cross Society and its verified partners.

In a post made to his Facebook page Monday morning, Dr Minnis recommended that supplies be donated to the Red Cross, as the organisation was the best equipped to distribute funds and supplies to all of the affected islands.

He warned that other relief drives, foreign and domestic, may become “counter productive and cause confusion.”

He said: “Government agencies and other disaster relief non-profits will find it harder to do their jobs because valuable personnel will be focused on monitoring these various groups to make sure that distributions of these supplies get to those in need.”

The Killarney MP said a more “coordinated effort” would better serve all of the victims.

According to Dr Minnis, a plane carrying relief supplies into Long Island from Florida recently landed there, but officials had “no idea” what was distributed and to whom.

“The company owner stated that no one here was organised so they decided to take matters into their own hands,” Dr Minnis said. “Help is always appreciated and welcome, but we are asking everyone to provide assistance through the proper channels.”

According to international reports, Rob Ceravolo, owner and operator of Tropic Ocean Airways, a Florida-based private air fleet is said to have delivered five separate seaplane loads of supplies to islands in the southern Bahamas since Saturday.

Mr Ceravolo told a Florida news station on Sunday that due to a lack of an organised effort by the Bahamian government, he sprung into action to aid and assist as many people as he could.

Dr Minnis’ post received mixed reviews, with some on Facebook commenting that private citizens and groups had immediately responded to those in distress compared to a “slow” response from the government.

One commenter said Dr Minnis’ post was “insulting and inaccurate.”

“(When) the private sector was delivering food and water and helping people find their families . . . your beloved government agencies were trying to catch rides on TIA’s (Trans Island Airways) planes,” the angry commenter wrote.

There have been a number of relief drives across the country, the region and North America in the days after the devastation of Hurricane Joaquin.

In particular, residents and descendants of Long Island have established a number of relief initiatives with the primary goal of sending supplies to the community. TIA also partnered with Long Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner last week to help coordinate relief efforts there.

Long Island, Acklins, Crooked Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador are all reported to be in need of major help moving forward.

Dr Minnis stated that while the “coming together and putting aside all differences for the greater good” has aided the psyche of every Bahamian affected by Hurricane Joaquin, more still needs to be done to ensure that all islands are taken care of.

On the weekend, Dr Minnis travelled with a government delegation led by Prime Minister Christie to some areas affected by Hurricane Joaquin.

On Monday he led an FNM delegation on a tour of Crooked Island and San Salvador.

Hurricane Joaquin slowly churned over the central and southern Bahamas on Thursday and Friday, bringing torrential rain and storm surges. The storm hovered over Long Island for nearly 24 hours, destroying homes, uprooting trees and power lines and leaving heavy flooding in its wake. Homes and buildings were also destroyed in Rum Cay, Acklins, Crooked Island and San Salvador.

Some residents on those islands have reported that they escaped dangerous, chest high storm surges by fleeing their homes to seek refuge in cars or other buildings.


proudloudandfnm 3 years, 9 months ago

Dumb statement to put out considering first response was all private citizens.

Thanks to Headknowles!!!


B_I_D___ 3 years, 9 months ago

...and he is in the press being seen dispersing cases of relief aid that were privately boxed and transported to the region...to then turn around and stab the people in the back that were on the ground faster than any government agency or 'verified partners'...


Sickened 3 years, 9 months ago

I don't see it as stabbing people in the back! He thanked everyone for helping but stated that the relief effort would be better coordinated if it were more centralized, to which I agree. However, I do think think that there can be more than just the Red Cross involved. One group for each island would be more efficient. But the government should certainly not be controlling the effort as they are way too slow. The government should focus on utilities and health. Leave the food, clothing and drinking water to the Red Cross and HeadKnowles.


The_Oracle 3 years, 9 months ago

Most of us at one time or another hav engaged our mouths before our brains. I shall give you this one Dr. Minnis. While some are PLP and some are FNM, mistrust of government is becoming universal. The Red Cross is an invaluable asset and recognized globally but in the Bahamas it has even less resources that the Government, being NEMA. Do not stand in the way of the largely immediate and efficient private sector. Time and time again, it is proven that action from the heart is better than coercion or government response. All confusion in this situation, has been due to Government lack of action and lack of news.


marrcus 3 years, 9 months ago

PGC is a master politician. See how he got Minnis under the bus with him....amazing.


birdiestrachan 3 years, 9 months ago

Suffice to say, I am not a fan., but I do believe he meant well, Give him a break these are serious times, No time for cussing, just praying time. I was concerned for the other Islands because all I can hear is long Island. But I am confident that Mr::Davis and Mr: Gray will see: to it that all the people will be helped. Some people will use this as an opportunity to be greedy and take things that is not intended for them . These things are for the hurricane Victims.


SP 3 years, 9 months ago

.......................... Believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see ..................

Dr. Minnis SAYS this is no time for playing party politics. Then he runs around all over the place wearing that stupid red FNM hat an shirt??


TalRussell 3 years, 9 months ago

No, no Comrade SP, that is a "Trump for President" red hat


sealice 3 years, 9 months ago

in Abaco after Floyd the head of customs was at the airport trying to charge duty on all the relief goods - if it wasn't for the private supply chain and non government efforts all of the outer cays would probably still not have food and water....


jusscool 3 years, 9 months ago

If every island has one drop off point then all supplies should get to where their needed. It doesn't matter who's dealing with the donations. Not a very smart statement . Everyone wants to help. First time seen!


TalRussell 3 years, 9 months ago

Comrades, any man's or woman's caught meddling with the red party's reserved for Papa only position does takes their political life in they's hands. Seriously, regardless where Minnis says takes your Hurricane Joaquin relief goods and monies, even Her Majesty, knows all about the "Fisherman From Cooper's Town's" dominance over all things red come the 2017 General. Right, Your Majesty?


DEDDIE 3 years, 9 months ago

Not smart until some scrupulous individual collects donations and start selling it to the locals. Not smart until someone start to hoard. During the fog of war anything goes but an organize effort will be needed to insure that supplies go to were they are intended. Remember Francis and Jeanne, even the Government had to be compel not to place donation in the hell hole they call the consolidated fund.


TalRussell 3 years, 9 months ago

Comrades let's get at least one thing clear: Hurricane Joaquin killed "no one" on Long Island for sure, and as far as we know there were NO hurricane related deaths on any of the other islands. Sure as hell seems some politicians were recklessly too quick to be repeating unconfirmed reports of "multiple deaths" by Hurricane Joaquin on Long Island - and on the other islands.


BahamaPundit 3 years, 9 months ago

Just look at the scandal of the Red Cross in Haiti.


In late 2011, the Red Cross launched a multimillion-dollar project to transform the desperately poor area, which was hit hard by the earthquake that struck Haiti the year before. The main focus of the project — called LAMIKA, an acronym in Creole for “A Better Life in My Neighborhood” — was building hundreds of permanent homes.

Today, not one home has been built in Campeche. Many residents live in shacks made of rusty sheet metal, without access to drinkable water, electricity or basic sanitation. When it rains, their homes flood and residents bail out mud and water.

The Red Cross received an outpouring of donations after the quake, nearly half a billion dollars.

The group has publicly celebrated its work. But in fact, the Red Cross has repeatedly failed on the ground in Haiti. Confidential memos, emails from worried top officers, and accounts of a dozen frustrated and disappointed insiders show the charity has broken promises, squandered donations, and made dubious claims of success.


The_Oracle 3 years, 9 months ago

Yes BahamasPundit, and your article in todays Trib is spot on. We must get away from blanket condemnation and target individuals who Pillage, thwart, and otherwise misbehave in the name of whatever authority they have been elected/appointed/charged under or with. We must clear away that type of debris also, to rebuild this country.


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