I am appalled at the tragedy that took place in Mahdia yesterday. The sadness that engulfed the country and the grief felt was immense. The President declared three days of national mourning for the loss of 19 young lives in a fire. The nation mourns and all of Guyana has lost.
As a parent of two girls; aged 15 and 13; I felt the pain of those parents who have lost their young children. My heartfelt sympathies go out to the parents, relatives and friends of those lost in the fire. I had lost a child before and can say words cannot express that feeling of despair and sadness at such a permanent loss.
Editor, the unfortunate loss of those young lives has awakened the empathy of the people of Guyana. Unfortunately, I have seen some reckless and senseless statements from many individuals that are worthy of condemnation. There can be no profit from a tragedy. Disasters can occur at any time.
It cannot be understated that in the face of this tragedy, politicians need to demonstrate some sense of responsibility and empathy and consideration for the grief of others. It cannot be okay for elected officials to make this into anything other than a national loss.
As parents and citizens alike, we ought to resist these efforts to politicise the grief of others. There is nothing that can be gained from this tragedy. I urge that political personalities display compassion and respect for the lives that were lost and the survivors. This is a moment of national sadness.
I call on my fellow Guyanese to support the parents and people of Mahdia and the surrounding communities in this unfortunate chapter of our history. I pray for a speedy recovery for the survivors, as I express my profound sympathy and prayer as we all experience profound loss and pain.
I am pleased with the efforts of the Government, which has been active since the tragedy. They have pledged assistance to all those affected in various forms. The efforts of the private sector and other agencies must be lauded.
The many Guyanese that expressed sentiments of regret, disbelief and grief, let’s pray for our country during this period of sadness. Every effort should be made to ensure such incidents never recur. The 22nd May annually should be commemorated in memory of those young girls whose lives were lost.