News Date: April 03 2018
There is a lot of good which is taking place on hurricane-ravaged Dominica that should not be overlooked, despite one negative incident. Mercy Foundation chairman Nigel Salina made the point while clearing up a misunderstanding which occurred following an interview last Saturday in which he said there was “tremendous goodwill” between the island states following their commitment to rebuild those islands which had been devastated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017.
He said the incident in which TT had not voted in favour for a waiver of Dominica’s fees to the OAS was a political issue, which he did not have the authority to address. He said focus should instead be on the work of the foundation, a division of the Living Water Community, and a special-purpose vehicle formed to support and assist communities throughout the wider Caribbean.
He said in Dominica, the agricultural sector was devastated while 62 per cent of the houses were heavily damaged and 15 per cent totally destroyed. The foundation, he said, was rebuilding a school which had previously housed 300 students, who were being accommodated at present under several large tents.
Salina, who also heads the Global Leadership Forum and the Caribbean Rebuild Our Homes Project, said the plan was to rebuild more schools and then focus on the rebuilding houses.
A document titled A Blueprint of Hope for our Caribbean families in Need: the Caribbean- Rebuild Our Homes Project maps out the four priorities: housing construction and repair; safe drinking water and sanitation; agriculture, fisheries, livestock and equipment; and restoration of educational facilities and systems.
He said over 40 containers of relief supplies had been sent to the affected islands, which also include Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands. Plans are also under way for a campaign to raise international awareness, as the islands are still reeling from the devastation. Salina said families were torn apart, communities destroyed and entire economies shattered, and it would take a long time to put the pieces back together.