Fire victim Mala Choon, sits on a mattress where she now sleeps at a relative’s home, as she speaks with her MP Dr Lackram Bodoe, second from right, and councilor Doonath Mayrhoo who visited her yesterday.

Almost two weeks after a fire destroyed the Choon’s family home in Fyzabad, they are still trying to get help to rebuild their home.

Now sleeping in the garage area of her daughter’s home, Mala Choon complained, “(I am sleeping) in the shed and when the rain fall the breeze is blow…and it is hit we here and we is be cold. Sometimes you cover with one blanket, you cannot cover properly. You not getting a comfortable sleep.”

Choon, her two sons, two daughters-in-law and five grandchildren, including an 18-month-old baby, lost all their belongings in the fire two days before Christmas. They lived in separate apartments in their two-story house at Avocat Village. The suspect that the fire was triggered by an electrical issue.

While they have received groceries and clothes from good samaritans, Choon said they have received no other assistance.

“I am very thankful people come and get us some clothes and thing. I am very thankful for the lil donation they giving we, the little food.”

However, she said government officials called a few times and took their information.

Choon is asking the government to assist her in rebuilding her home.

“I feel very hurt and sad that nobody (government official) reach out to us to ask us what going on…”

Choon is also questioning why no minister or official from the government agencies have assisted her family yet they visited the families who lost their homes during the New Year’s Day fire at Quarry Street, Port of Spain. The Choon family was visited by Councillor Doodnath Mayrhoo and Fyzabad MP Dr Lackram Bodoe who expressed their disappointment in the government’s lack of response.

Bodoe said, “I am very disappointed that any government agency has not yet reached out reached out to this family, especially since I communicated with the Minister of Social Development on the evening that this event took place and it is very disappointing that no government agency has reached out to the family.”

Thanking the private and corporate citizens who have reached out to the family, Bodoe said the medium-term plan to provide some sort of accommodation on the same spot the house was burnt down.

“It is my intention to try to coordinate some sort of relief effort, especially if the government is not reaching out in terms of providing accommodation and therefore to coordinate some sort of effort towards reconstructing the home base don the help from private citizens and corporate citizens within the constituency of Fyzabad and of course elsewhere in the country.”

Expressing disappointment in the ministry, Mayrhoo said it’s sad that the Choon family did not get the same level of attention as the Quarry Street residents.

“It shows the disparity and there is no equity in the distribution of funds from that ministry. To date nobody from the Ministry of Development has reached out to the family,” he claimed.

However, Social Development Minister Donna Cox denied that the Quarry Street residents were receiving any special treatment.

“We are offering the same thing we offered to the Quarry Street (residents), including counselling,” said the minister.

Cox told Guardian Media that the ministry provided the family with a hamper and have been in contact with them.

She said clothing, books and appliances grants have been approved for the Choon family but they are awaiting final processing and payment from the Central Board.

Meanwhile, she said some of the Quarry Street applications are completed while some are still being processed.

In addition, she said they have asked for five devices for the Choon family and seven for the Quarry Street families.

“We continue to work assiduously to assist all victims of fire and other disasters,” the minister added.