October 26, 2021

Eastern Caribbean Flood Disaster Relief

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images-Caribbean-caribbean_weather_060114_452616262The call is still out for relief supplies needed in rain and flood-damaged St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica and St. Lucia.

“We are appealing to CACCI members from the corporate and small business communities to join in the recovery efforts and help to bring rapid relief and badly needed essential items to the Caribbean nations, which have been affected,” said Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Roy Hastick.

Hastick said Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency has reported “widespread devastation due to wind storms and torrential rainfall, which caused flash floods, mudslides, disruption of electricity and portable water supplies, destruction of roads, bridges, houses, other infrastructure.”

Saying that bottled water, canned foods, baby formula, powdered milk, rice, flour, clothing, cots, sheets, blankets, baby diapers and hygiene kits are needed, Hastick said he is reaching out to elected officials and its corporate, medical and academic partners for assistance.

Last week, the board of directors and members of the chamber expressed its condolences to the people of the island countries, which suffered major infrastructure damage due to unusually heavy rains on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in the Eastern Caribbean. At least 19 persons were killed regionwide.

The Pan American Health Organization sent a regional response team to St. Vincent and the Grenadines to support that nation’s Ministry of Health in medical, sanitation and psycho-social support relief efforts.

PAHO officials are suggesting that nations consider the “relocation of medical storage supplies to safer locations,” calling a similar disaster in the future “highly probable” due to recent weather patterns and climate change.

Relief supplies are due to be collected at the main branch of the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center, 671 Prospect Place (between Bedford and Franklin Aves.), in Brooklyn on Jan. 4 and 5. Call the branch at (718) 638-8686 for information.

For information on relielf efforts to the effected nations, contact the St. Lucia Consulate at (212) 697-9360, the New York consulate of St.Vincent and the Grenadines at (212) 687- 4490 or by sending email to [email protected] The Dominica Consulate can be contacted by calling (212) 599-8478.

Contact the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce, at (718) 834-4544, for information.


Related story:

St Vincent braces for more bad weather

From Caribbean360

Weather forecasters have been advising that a trough system is expected to begin affecting the island late Monday into early Tuesday and that it was located east of the Lesser Antilles.

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Monday January 6, 2014, CMC – Two weeks after a low level trough caused death and destruction in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, residents were bracing for the passage of another weather system late on Monday.

At least nine people were killed and four others remain missing after the Christmas Eve weather system caused hundreds of millions of dollars (One EC dollar = US$0.37 cents) in damages.

Weather forecasters have been advising that a trough system is expected to begin affecting the island late Monday into early Tuesday and that it was located east of the Lesser Antilles.

The advisory said that the weather system would add to the general instability across the eastern Caribbean as moisture levels increase.

“This system could produce some moderate to heavy showers over the Windward Islands,” the Met Office said.

Meanwhile, schools which were due to re-open after the Christmas holidays on Monday will remain closed for another week, according to the Ministry of Education.

Some of the schools, which are being used as emergency shelters, are still without pipe-borne water. Most of the roadways have been cleared even as residents continue to be affected by intermittent water problems.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said that efforts are being made to help people who lost most of their appliances in the storm. A radiothon on Sunday resulted in pledges of EC$127,000.

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Related story from UK

Saint Vincent storm: why the Commonwealth should care

03_ST-VINCENT_FLOODS_WBy Jon Snow, Snowblog From Channel4 news UK

Not many of us any longer know or care much about the Commonwealth, until a conference or scandal hits the news. But the latest devastating storm in the Caribbean island of Saint Vincent poses a question – what is this ‘family’ of former British colonies doing to help?

From my trip there yesterday to inspect the damage, I’d say little or nothing. Ralph Gonsalves, prime minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines had heard little or nothing from his Commonwealth brothers and sisters. Even though Canada, for example,  sports the largest population of St Vincent nationals who now live beyond the island of their birth.

St Vincent needs immediate cash and technical personnel to get them through the period before the international agencies like the Commonwealth Development Bank kick in with long term reconstruction funding.

Truth to tell, this disaster in the Eastern Caribbean, which has also affected St Lucia, has exposed Britain’s neglect of  an area of former UK colonies, and current Commonwealth countries, that are among the poorest in the world.

But go further north to Jamaica, and there’s a big policy shift – Britain has a huge presence in Jamaica. So what are our taxes being spent on there? A hugely expensive project to build a vast prison to house Jamaican prisoners – some of whom are in UK jails. However, most of these cannot be extradited because they hold UK citizenship. The project is seen by many in this region as a cynical and expensive white elephant.

Taiwan, China step in where Britain has pulled back

The tragedy is that whilst we have turned our backs on these islands with whom we enjoy historic relations and many of whose sons and daughters live and work among us in Britain, governments here have had to turn to others. Whose is the largest embassy in St Vincent? Taiwan. Why? because of its need to hoover up third-world votes to protect itself from China at the United Nations.

Indeed the Caribbean is roughly split between Chinese and Taiwanese influence. Taiwan has indeed invested here – it is helping to build an international airport. But it is strange that so English a place as St Vincent should be left by the British to trade its votes in order to survive.

The island has had to turn to Iran, Argentina, and Venezuela to make good the cold shoulder from both the Commonwealth and the UK government.

The Christmas storm disaster that killed 13 here and robbed the country of 10 per cent of its fertile land, provides a great opportunity for Britain and the Commonwealth to demonstrate that they still care, and that indeed we would like to renew and sustain our friendship.

Follow Jon Snow @jonsnowC4 on Twitter

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