Lanisha Rolle urges understanding for tornado victims


Lanisha Rolle


Tribune Freeport Reporter


SOCIAL Services and Urban Renewal Minister Lanisha Rolle visited the tornado-damaged areas in Grand Bahama and urged people to be very “sensitive” and understanding to the victims who suffered significant damage and what they are going through at this time.

She wanted persons affected to know that the department cares and is there for them during this difficult time.

Ms Rolle and Ms Lillian Quant-Forbes, deputy director of Social Services, were among the delegation that travelled with Prime Minister Hubert Minnis on Thursday to Bimini and Grand Bahama.

About 28 families have been affected on Grand Bahama as a result of a tornado as Hurricane Irma passed west of the northern Bahamas unleashing ferocious winds and some rain.

Five homes in the Imperial Park Subdivision were destroyed. Several units at the Imperial Gardens Apartment Building and about ten businesses in Freeport were also damaged.

Some of the victims were concerned and upset about passersby coming into the area just to take photos of the damage and post them on social media.

Minister Rolle said: “There are some that were affected and others that were not, and I think it is very important at this time for us to be sensitive, to realize it was not me today, but it could be tomorrow. Therefore, we must be there for each other.”

She said the Ministry of Social Services is concerned and is there to assist Bahamians who were affected.

“We want persons to know that we care and that we are here for them, and that is why we are here and a part of the assessment team to make sure that individuals know that Social Services is onboard.

“We empathize and see the need, and are assessing the needs and assisting as much as we can, where we can.”

Ms Rolle also said: “The important thing that we must remember is that this is all of our problems and all our challenges, and all of our success. And so together as a people we will rise again out of these various situations.”

Paula Marshall, assistant director of Social Services in Freeport, had reported that officers met with the victims and had compiled a list.

She stated that many of the victims have indicated that they do not want to leave their homes.

However, she noted that arrangements would have to be made to relocate at least one family whose house was totally destroyed.

“They are going to need to have accommodations until arrangements can be made for that particular facility to be rebuilt. Whether that is going to be done by the government, we don’t know at this time, but in the meantime, they need to be able to function,” said Mrs Marshall.

She noted that social services cannot force people to leave their homes and so some have decided to stay, and others have made arrangements to stay with family and friends.

She noted that Social Services would definitely help those affected regarding assistance with food, clothing, toiletries, and blankets.

Ernestine McPhee, a resident of Imperial Park whose home was damaged, had expressed her frustration with the process when she went to seek assistance at the Department of Social Services.

McPhee, whose adult son is disabled and diabetic, told Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis that the process was very stressful. “I was there from 9am until after 1pm; I missed a whole day at school at the Social Services just to give them (some) information- that’s what you have to go through.”

She told Dr Minnis that she was in need of a generator and wanted to know if she could be provided one from NEMA to keep her son’s insulin cool.

McPhee said their home is insured and was worried about her elderly neighbour whose home was not insured, but was destroyed.


TalRussell 6 years, 10 months ago

Comrades! This a fake story, right? Or, is it that Lanisha - sure knows how get people talking? I ain't even knows, how I is to talk back at Lanisha?

birdiestrachan 6 years, 10 months ago

Fake indeed just like her. when she was asked about the two months when persons would not receive aid she could not even speak to the press. "The ACE" had to speak on her behalf. Now she can fool some of the "its the peoples time" voters. But those who can think for themselves know better.

TalRussell 6 years, 10 months ago

Comrades! The poor and near poor people, cannot feel the souls of PM Minnis, KP, or Lanisha - through the voice of "ACE."
Those who got nothing but total silence, why their social assistance cheques did not arrive - were left with no other choose but to live in the reality of going without even the most basic of "Bread Basket Items"............................. the same "Bread Basket Items," that Minns and KP, whilst in opposition - had repeatedly promised to remove VAT from the prices of the items the poor and near poor need the money and the affordability kept within their very limited families spending budgets reaches.
Comrades, it shouldn't be left to "ACE" a 'hired gun' to reassure the people that the men's and woman's in-charge their government - really care about them as human beings and not just to be used mark their voting "X's."

sheeprunner12 6 years, 10 months ago

Mrs. Rolle needs to find a plan to take people off welfare ....... not add more to become a burden on the State ........ The free-bees syndrome has to stop ..... Find these slouches jobs or make their families accountable to help them and stop giving them excuses to suck off the Treasury's teat ........ It takes a village/family to help the poor, not a broke government ...... the 4000 churches can easily take every household on Social Services off the payroll

Nasppl 6 years, 10 months ago

I'm sorry but with all of the social issues we have been dealing with the woman has been silent. Even with the past hurricanes i have yet to see her in action. Also there are a lot of churches that do help the community but bear in mind that the money that churches receive come from every day ppl that attend and if their members are unemployed and under paid where does the church then get it's money from?. Along with the fact that we have a society that now says don't give your money to the church.

The_Oracle 6 years, 10 months ago

I went driving in G.B. this weekend, Williams town, imperial park, Hunters, Lewis Yard, Pinders point, I could not point to a single structure that looks like it received any re-building supplies from NEMA. Shingles, plywood, nothing. And I'm talking about after Matthew. Added to the number of derelict structures in the outskirts of Freeport itself, It was very depressing. Where have all the donated materials gone?

sheeprunner12 6 years, 10 months ago

But the PLP and NEMA stated that $6million was spent in Grand Bahama ...... Where is the Auditor-General???? ...... Why is Stephen Russell getting a free pass??????

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