ROSEAU –– Former West Indies cricketer Brian Lara arrived in Dominica this morning as a representative of the Trinidad and Tobago’s government to determine the country’s needs post Tropical Storm Erika.
Lara is on island as a special envoy sent by Trinidad’s newly sworn in Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.
He promised his country’s assistance to the island.
“You are family and when you suffer we suffer, and we are here to help,” Lara said at a special ceremony held at the Canefield Airport upon his arrival. “We stand in solidarity with the people of Dominica during this challenging time.”
He said Rowley had great concerns for Dominica.
“I am here to really have a look,” he remarked. “My prime minister has great concerns for Dominica at this time and it is demonstrated by my presence here today. I know I am not going to like what I see and, as I said, if you suffer we are suffering as well, and I will be taken back home with messages and everything I see that is happening in Dominica.”
He noted that the government of Trinidad and Tobago and its citizens sympathized with “the loss of lives, the loss of property and the monumental damage that has been done by Tropical Storm Erika”.
“We recognized that there are a lot of people that have been displaced, evacuated from their villages, unable to return to their homes . . . ,” he said.
He said his country’s government stood ready to support Dominica.
“I know over the last couple of weeks we have helped through our air guard in coordination with CDMA, and we stand ready to continue that support as we work alongside the rest of the regional and international partners as we try to assist Dominica in a very coordinating manner,” he stated.
Meanwhile Minister of Foreign Affairs Francine Baron said the island continued to suffer damages from heavy rainfall.
She stated, however, that the government was working towards the country’s recovery.
“There are a number of different areas that have been affected and still affected,” she noted. “We have two communities that are still cut off . . . ; that’s Boetica and Delices. The only access is by air and there are two other communities where they had to evacuate residents after they were deemed unsafe.”
Baron thanked the government of Trinidad and Tobago and the rest of the CARICOM, among others, who were willing to assist Dominica.
Lara also met with Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.
Lara is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest cricketers of all time. He holds several cricketing records, including the highest individual score of 501 not out in first class cricket and the highest individual score of 400 not out in a Test innings.