The fire left about 60 people homeless

After Hurricane David the Catholic Nuns worked in the resettlement of people to the area now known as Silver Lake. The area was first named Fatima with the pilgrimage statue of Fatima positioned close by.  Families were well settled to begin a new life. Two long houses, each accommodating about five families were therefore erected under the guidance of the Catholic Nuns.

The name was then unceremoniously called “Fly City” due to the rubbish Dump within close proximity of the community. The name Silver Lake came about as a result of the pool created from the flow of the Roseau River at the back of the community where many of the children enjoyed their past times in play and swimming. At that point where the river hits the bank towards the bend, there creates a pool (lake) and during the full moon the light glitters in silver onto the water pool (lake) hence the name now “Silver Lake”. How creative.

All in all, the children of Silver lake are cheerful, the people are fighters, the parents are loving and like every other family, these parents want the best for their children, their families and their community. They have been left alone to do their own thing, abandoned by this Labour Government. I know so and as an employed worker, I worked in this community. There are hardworking residents of Silver Lake who have and continue to undertake numerous quality community programmes for parents and children.

“Based on the facts, the evidence that we got, the fire actually started through an electrical short circuit,” Riviere said”(DNO Dec. 30th 2016), an official of one of our emergency services.

And, the community of Silver Lake are labelled and referred to as “A Hostile environment?”. This is a distasteful and unprofessional statement. Apologies needed.

The plight of the people of Silver Lake abandoned by this Labour Party government is outrageous, insulting and discriminatory and to some extent deliberate, because they do not shout out “We love our PM”.  The living conditions has deteriorated due to neglect over the past ten years, and if any reputable environmental agency is asked to visit and conduct a health & safety inspection/audit of Silver Lake, the immediate recommendation would be to close down Silver Lake and relocate its residents until this unsanitary condition and risk of life to all is addressed. It therefore means that this sitting government have no knowledge of Health & Safety standards, let alone social-economic development, let alone apply it.

We professionals continue to by-passed by this government. We lack the necessary financial & other resources as we observe numerous handouts dished out by Skerrit despicable scouts to those who cry “I Love my PM”. This Skerro handout mendicancy is not an investment but an insult on poor people where all government institutions are compromised, and Prime Minister Skerrit and his fly by-night scouts are guilty of this atrocity. One hardly ever hear of an opinion from the Minister of Social Affairs comment and advocate forcefully on child abuse, on the extent of poverty, on our declining villages, on struggling mothers, on dysfunctional homes and on the weak and abandoned Local Authorities who lack the working structures and resources to function as an effective independent local government authority. Skerrit and his acolytes have taken over this role at their whims and fancies. “We therefore see, daily the application of a vehement Autocratic Leader in operation”. These so called good citizens are the architect of a social& economic slavery. This act of deviousness is not sustainable but painful.

It is only during a disaster this government quickly run playing their obvious politics pretending that they are so sincere parading the community with potential candidate to run for the labour party. They do not act in the interest of the poor and vulnerable people.  Before this incident the PM and Labour party had no strategy. Due to their guilt, they want now to be seen walking into Silver Lake, as this unfortunate disaster gave Skerrit this opportunity to again prey on the pain and discomfort of these vulnerable people for votes and to buy their loyalty to create the disgusting phrase, “We love our PM”. How devious and insulting!

The Health and safety environment of Silver Lake has been deplorable for years waiting on a disaster to happen. The Public Latrine has been non-operational and thus creates a serious health hazard for the children even after the last election because according to the Silver Lake residents, the then Parliamentary Representative failed to keep up with his promise to pay the electricity and water bills. The people disposed of their waste beyond the toilet overlooking the Roseau River. If functional now, it was done recently.

It is imperative to note that in response to a 999 emergency call there has to be an automatic implemented and well-co-ordinated response team that all the Rescue &emergency agencies (Fire, Ambulance-First Aid & Police) are there together. That is the “Response Team”. Did this happen?

This fire at Silver Lake has been a disaster waiting to happen having ignored by Skerrit`s government in the past ten years. The Ministry of Community Development/Local Government has been weak with an obvious lack of leadership with the necessary resources and fortitude to openly advocate for these communities. Silver Lake community is very condensed and close knitted and if this fire had taken place in the early morning while the community is asleep it is likely that there would have been loss of life.

Silver Lake has great potential and the people there are very ambitious and determined to improve the quality of their lives. There are currently genuine efforts made by Silver Lake resident advocates and community workers to improve the quality of life of the Silver Lake people.I have been there, I know them.

However, Political opportunists disguised as caring for the poor and vulnerable continue to take advantage of this incident and parade the community not to elevate their quality of life but to gain votes at any political cost. These so-called “Political Good Citizens” representing this Corrupt and questionable Labour government are the architects of economic and social poverty, blind to the processes of social and economic development, have no respect for the decency of poor people who are exposed to a filthy living environment for years living in inhumane environment. More resources are given to the sale of passports than to our struggling families. This passport scheme has more agents employed than our own Welfare Services. That’s where the focus is. We Dominicans are of no value and importance to this corrupt Labour Party government.

Now these political opportunists walk down the hill to offer more patronising handouts and unhealthy lunch packs in guilt to the squalor and poverty they have created. It is another form of dependency disguised in pretext that “We Care”. You fool the people sometimes; you will not fool all the people all time. Our poor, rural, urban, villages and communities are suffering and sinking more into poverty. I have been to these communities and I feel their pain.

Finally, a three-storey concrete apartment was constructed about three years ago and the Silver Lake people protested that they were not party to who qualifies to reside in this apartment.

This Labour government does not consult, they insult.

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