Although T&T is facing a difficult period following devastating flooding last weekend, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley admits he felt compelled to turn down help from Caricom countries because "we have been coping .... and coping very well."
Rowley said he said nothing wrong by not accepting help from our Caribbean neighbours.
The PM made the comment earlier today as he delivered the feature address at the sod turning ceremony for the $49 million Diego Martin Health Centre.
As he celebrated his 69th birthday with smiles, an upbeat Rowley said as citizens we continue to pull ourselves down when we should be putting ourselves up.
“People in this country miserable yuh know… cantankerous … to the extent that sometimes they miss the flowers and they miss the gentle breeze.”
If given a chance, he said we often find a way to make negatives out of every possible thing.
As he took the opportunity to clarify a couple of issues, Rowley noted that several Caribbean prime ministers had contacted him on Monday to express their concern for the people of T&T. But he said when his Caricom colleagues called to offer help, it wasn’t necessarily implied or meant that they would hand the country a cheque.
“There is an issue now that we were offered help from our Caricom territories and the Prime Minister turned it down,” he said.
“It meant that they were acknowledging we were in difficulty and they were standing with us firstly, in spirit. And secondly, if physically they could contribute then they would. And what was wrong in saying to them, yes we have difficulties but we are coping for the moment.”
Rowley said the country has to give thanks that having faced a 6.9 magnitude earthquake in August and the recent floods, “Trinidad and Tobago can report that we lost no life and no limb."
- Shaliza Hassanali