Sangre Grande Corporation donates food, clothing to Belmont fire victims

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Stuart Young, Energy Minister and MP for Port of Spain North St Anns West, Terry Rondon Councillor for Valencia East Toco, and Sangre Grande Regional Corporation chairman Anil Juteram at a handover of household supplies and food items to families affected by the fire that destoryed several homes on Old Year’s Night leaving 25 persons homeless in the east Port of Spain community. – Photo by Roger Jacob

Valencia East/Toco councillor Martin “Terry” Rondon and chairman of the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation (SGRC) Anil Juteram delivered donations on behalf of the corporation for the victims of a fire that destroyed four homes in Belmont on Saturday morning.

The delivery was taken to to the office MP for Port of Spain North/St Ann’s West Stuart Young on Monday.

The donations included clothes, mattresses, sheets, rice, beans, shoes, pillowcases and household wares.

Residents said the fire started just after midnight on Saturday morning when a Chinese lantern landed on the roof of one of the four houses in a compound. The fire left 25 residents of Quarry Street homeless.

Young took to social media to blame the incident on fireworks.

“Over the weekend after this incident we saw the exact same thing in Europe, Germany, and Holland where they actually banned fireworks for the New Year’s period and they still had people break the ban (and) legislation,” he said, adding that although people have been calling for a ban, legislation alone will not solve the problem.’

Young said the Cabinet had asked Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi to get the views of the public on the draft legislation he presented, and he had been giiven three months to do so.

Rondon said Juteram is also arranging for hampers to be donated. He said Young has always supported the SGRC and they were happy to assist in return.

“Young has been very courteous to us in Toco. The people of Toco have always appreciated the (Port of Spain city corporation) so when you have a member of the corporation in need, we will help.

“I am here today, not well. I am in pain but I saw it fit to make that contribution to people who support Toco. Sick as I am, it feels nice to come out and help.”

Rondon has spinal issues and said he will be having a surgical procedure soon to address the problem.

“It is costly, but I forgot the pain today and I am joyous.”

Juteram said the SGRC is always willing to reach out to other corporations when there is a disaster.

“Where there is suffering we have to reach out.”

Al-Rawi has said his ministry is looking at legislative reform on fireworks and will soon begin public consultations, although he did not give a date for when they will begin.

Minister of Social Development and Family Services Donna Cox also visited the area on Sunday and met with victims to assess their needs.