Govt support during difficult ordeal was satisfactory – Dorm Mother tells CoI

Dorm mother of Mahdia Secondary School Girls’ Dormitory in Region Eight, Carlet Williams from Micobie Village, informed the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (CoI) on Thursday that all the support that was provided by the government during the difficult time of the Mahdia fire crisis was satisfactory.

Williams made the disclosure while providing her testimony at the CoI.

The Mahdia Secondary School Girls’ Dormitory was destroyed by a terrible fire on May 22, which tragically resulted in the deaths of 20 people.

Medical professionals, government officials, members of the Joint Services, and aviation professionals all came together in response and worked zealously to help.

Williams underlined that Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond was assigned to her family to ensure the relevant assistance was provided.

Dorm mother, Carlet Williams during her testimony at the Presidential CoI

The dorm mother responded positively when questioned about whether her needs had been met.

While at the hospital, psychiatric counselling was provided along with social support.

Williams further highlighted that all the funeral arrangements for her son were made by the government.  

The dorm mother said that she received financial assistance from the government and a care package was provided to her daughter who was injured during the tragedy.

Chief Fire Officer (ag), Gregory Wickham and the security guard, Denise Holland also provided testimonies at the CoI today.

During that time, local and international medical care was provided, lodging in Georgetown and all travel to and from Region Eight were provided, and all funeral and related costs were covered.

Many family members asked for cash so they could utilize it to buy purchases that would improve their ability to support their families going forward.

In response to the requests, the government made financial support available to each family, and after providing them with independent legal counsel, the families were asked to sign a contract. The procedure for distributing this cash is still being provided.

The government has committed to continue providing the victims and their families with any support that may be required in the Agreement itself.

The agreements were reduced to writing because public funds are being spent and because it is understood that these expenditures must be transparently accounted for. All of the involved families who have been impacted so far have signed contracts.

The CoI is headed by Major General (Ret’d) Joseph Singh as Chairman, Dr Kim Kyte-Thomas, and Derrick John. The Presidential CoI into the devastating fire at the female dormitory of the Mahdia Secondary School which claimed the lives of 20 children, began its proceedings on September 15.

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