By Tess Hennigan
Caribbean Net News Staff Reporter
Premier Michael Misick has warned opposition politicians to stop playing politics with the lives of Grand Turk and South Caicos residents who are trying to recover from the devastation caused by Hurricane Ike.
The ruling Progressive National Party (PNP) has been accused of being partisan in the provision of aid to residents affected by the hurricane.
Misick told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that the allegation was unfounded, and pointed out that the country's disaster management department, the Red Cross, churches, and other civil groups were the ones directly involved in the aid distribution.
"It's very unfortunate,” said Misick, “that even in the midst of our own challenges and crises, coming from the aftereffects of Hurricane Ike, persons will try to play politics.”
As previously reported in TCI Net News
, more than 80 percent of the houses on Grand Turk and South Caicos were either destroyed or severely damaged earlier this month when Ike, a ferocious category 4 hurricane packing 135 mile per hour winds, slammed into the islands.
|Turks and Caicos Premier, Michael Misick
The Premier has estimated that it will be another three months before life returns to normal for people on the affected islands.
"We are now in recovery mode. Grand Turks and South Caicos are improving day by day, but there's still no electricity on any of those islands,” Misick told CMC, adding, “We've initiated a large clean-up campaign and that is being done in the public and private areas, and we're hoping to restore electricity as soon as possible.”
Misick said it would be a week in some areas and even longer in others. “I think it's going to take to the end of the year before those two islands are totally restored to some semblance of normalcy," he said.
According to the Premier, the immediate focus is on getting building materials and assisting the less fortunate persons whose damaged homes were uninsured.
"I call on the opposition for us not to play politics with people's lives and to work together in trying to restore Grand Turks and South Caicos,” stated Misick, concluding, “This disaster is a national one, one that transcends politics and one that we will not, and cannot, afford to play politics with."