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Fifty-seven days have gone since 19 families’ homes were destroyed by a cloud funnel that touched down in the Chandanagore area, the affected victims are still awaiting the relief funds promised to them by the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services.

However, in an immediate response Minister Donna Cox assured victims that they “are working on it.”

Cox added that “if funds were not released it means ministry is awaiting the releases from the Ministry of Finance.”

She, however, noted that upon enquiring the status from the head of the department she was told that one of the victims, Khadene Crowe, was informed of her grant approval status…the matter will be raised with the permanent secretary…We still don’t have the funds and the hardware that she (referring to Crowe) chose wants confirmation from the ministry if they give the items when they will be paid.”

“I will ask our PS to follow up for me. I checked on it before. I know they requested the releases…so we are working on it,” Cox assured.

Crowe suffered double whammy when thieves struck at what was left of her home and stole fixtures, fittings, shelves that they unscrewed from the walls and even bedroom doors that were still in tact on the door frames throughout the home.

A very distraught Crowe told the Guardian Media that she feels a sense of frustration knowing that her family is still scattered and she is without a home and her children, who have been taking turns in staying by relatives since the incident.

Crowe was the most severely affected victim as the roof to her home was blown off by the cloud funnel on October 14 and as a result of the continuous rainfall that persisted for about one hour after the funnel touched down, Crowe suffered additional losses of all her appliances, including televisions, stereos and kitchen appliances, including her stove and refrigerator.

Last month, Crowe was hit by insensitive thieves who climbed the walls to the house and stole whatever was left inside including bathroom fixtures and fittings, doors, some of her children’s clothes and shoes that were left secured in garbage bags. She was also left dumbfounded when all the doors to her three bedrooms were unhitched and taken away by the thieves.

One day after the disaster, which occurred on October 14, staff of the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services, via a release confirmed that they reached out to render immediate disaster relief assistance to the affected families, including Crowe and her family of six, who lives with her husband, Abid Ali, her three children and nephew.

Persons may contact the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services’ Hotline at 800-1MSD or any of our Social Welfare District offices for further information and assistance.