King's Wharf fishermen still waiting for help after fire

A month after a fire destroyed eleven shacks on King's Wharf, fishermen are still waiting for assistance to buy back their boat engines and nets.

Stella Rasool who lost over $75,000 worth of nets and engines said since the fire they have not been able to go back to sea.

"The boat pulled up because we lost our engine. It really hard for us. Right now we living off our savings. We have four children to take care of and it really hard," Rasool said. 

She said after the fire San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello promised to assist.

"He told us to arrange estimates of what we lost and he will assist," Rasool said.

However, she added that two weeks passed and no help was forthcoming.

"I went to the Mayor's office to meet with him but I could not get an appointment," Rasool said.

Another fisherman Azard Ali said he was disappointed that no one bothered to help them.

"This fire was so devastating. We lost everything. We reported this to the Fisheries Division and they said they will do what they can. It's a month now and we are still waiting," Ali said.

He added that he has been working as a fisherman for over 30 years.

"This is the first time we facing this kind of stress. We did not expect this. We were hoping to get a little help and we are really distressed. When our little savings finish how will mind our family?" Ali added.

Contacted for comment Minister Clarence Rambharat said the matter was not under his purview.

"This is an issue that has to be dealt with via the Fisheries Officer for the area; the Director of Fisheries and the Permanent Secretary. It is not a matter I am involved in at this time," Rambharat said.

- by Radhica De Silva. Photo by Ivan Toolsie.

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