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Editorial: We Must All Pull In The Same Direction

THE more we learn about the impact of Hurricane Dorian, the greater the scale of the challenge facing the country becomes apparent.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham gave an idea of what he expects the final death toll to be: hundreds.

He said it is his opinion, but added "I don't make wild statements. I don't make uninformed statements".

The sight of Mr Ingraham and former Prime Minister Perry Christie on the ground in Abaco, speaking to rescuers and lending their weight to recovery efforts, is comforting.

Both former PMs have offered their services to the government during restoration efforts - but we need to make sure they are used in the right manner. They should be a help, not a distraction from efforts already under way.

There seems to be some measure of distraction in what the two say - Mr Christie said his successor, Dr Hubert Minnis, hasn't followed through on his offer of a meeting, while Mr Ingraham, for his part, said he did not think that Dr Minnis was minded to carve out a role for him.

This doesn't seem like a time to be quibbling about carving out roles - rather a time for showing up and asking "How can I help?"

We should be under no illusions about what we face. Vast numbers of Bahamians have been left without a home. Many also still wait anxiously to find out news about missing family and friends.

The total number of registered missing people is 2,500 - but startlingly, that list of the missing has not yet been checked against the people already in shelters. We should be concerned too about whether those lists include relatives of undocumented migrants, who might be reluctant to come forward to authorities to share details of missing friends and family.

NEMA yesterday said that some of the names on lists were not even in a digital format, which is baffling. One family member yesterday told of the confusing process of going back and forth between different departments to try and find out if her sister's name is on a list of those who have been rescued. Families left waiting deserve better than this - and it surely isn't beyond our abilities to consolidate the lists that presently exist, especially for those in shelters who it should be a simple process to identify. That's the kind of confusion we need to avoid - and that's the kind of confusion that can come about if we don't approach things with a united front.

We can achieve more together than we can by sniping at one another. Criticisms from Mr Ingraham and Mr Christie don't help the response in that regard, but nor should we ignore that they can be an asset if they are willing to give their support unconditionally.

Mr Ingraham makes a crucial point when he says: "It's big. It's bigger than any one man. It's bigger than any one government, bigger than any one group."

There are two ways to confront weakness - one is to point at it and label it as not good enough, another is to offer to help. If one person is being overwhelmed by a task, extra hands can make it manageable.

That's what we really mean by unity. Not squabbling over who gets to be in control, but all pulling together to make it easier. And that's what our nation needs right now.

Comments

Porcupine 1 week, 3 days ago

"The sight of Mr Ingraham and former Prime Minister Perry Christie on the ground in Abaco, speaking to rescuers and lending their weight to recovery efforts, is comforting." Excuse me. Comforting? Please, some of us are not children.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 week, 1 day ago

THE more we learn about the impact of Hurricane Dorian, the greater the scale of the challenge facing the country becomes apparent.

The more the rest of the world learns about our very large population of illegal Haitians, the greater the scale of the challenge we face in being perceived as a satellite state of Haiti.

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