The People of Dominica Need Help
The island nation of the Commonwealth of Dominica has been devastated and is still recovering from T.S. Erika which made landfall on the island on Monday, August 26. As the nearly 71,000 residents living on the “the nature island of the Caribbean” went to bed on the evening before the storm, many welcomed the much needed rains as the island was going through a severe drought. Few however would realize the true impact of the torrential rains and thrashing winds until they awoke the next morning.
As morning broke across Dominica, the full scale of the devastation became apparent. Landslides and rock falls had covered villages and blocked major roads. More than 12 major rivers had broken their banks, causing severe flooding and taking out vital bridges, disrupting water, electricity and telecommunication services.
Links with the outside world were cut, as flood waters and debris covered the tarmac at the main commercial airport in the east of the country, as well as the smaller landing strip in the capital, Roseau. Even after a week later all but one landing strip is closed on the island making access all but impossible except from ferries from Guadalupe and Martinique.
Maritime transport and maritime relief efforts has been critical to search and rescue operations as well as the transportation of emergency supplies and goods to the island.
Even more unfortunate has been the loss of life. 20 people have been confirmed dead with many more still reported as missing. With access to communities completely cutoff residents have been forced to dig through the mud and rubble for their loved ones with the few supplies they have that didn’t get washed away in the flood waters.
Pope Francis has reached out to the Bishop of Roseau and has implored the international community to aid Dominica in what is likely to be a long and arduous recovery.
The Commonwealth of Dominica’s Office of Maritime Affairs and Marine Personnel is asking the international maritime community to join the aid effort in rebuilding the island nation.
The Honorable Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, and his office, has been working tirelessly in providing relief to the citizens of Dominica and to restore the beautiful island nation.
Further assistance is needed for nonprofit organizations that are helping the people who still have no shelter, food, power or access to clean water. The Office of the Prime Minister and the Office of Maritime Affairs and Marine Personnel have endorsed two GoFundMe accounts to help the effort through private donations. Individuals and organizations can help relief efforts by making donations to these accounts which can be found here.
The Commonwealth of Dominica’s Office of Maritime Affairs and Marine Personnel wishes to thank everyone in advance who has donated even a modest amount of money or resources (the GoFundMe pages list supplies that are also needed by residents, their children and recovery personnel such as boots, shovels and bottled water) which will go a long way in aiding the recovery of the Commonwealth of Dominica, the nature island of the Caribbean.