Relief efforts continue in Dominica
PRIME MINISTER Roosevelt Skerrit, has appointed Baroness Patricia Scotland to serve as Dominica’s international relief efforts coordinator, with immediate effect.
The announcement comes as Dominica grapples with the aftermath of Tropical Storm Erika which dumped in excess of ten inches of rainfall over a six-hour period on August 27.
In his letter announcing the appointment, Skerrit said efforts have been ongoing to mobilise international relief efforts and Scotland’s appointment will ensure a focused and organised programme especially from foreign benefactors.
Meanwhile, according to Dominica News Online, the Government has announced it is recognising and endorsing the following GoFundMe.com page in the wake of the disaster:
T.S. Erika Relief Fund for Dominica URL: http://www.gofundme.com/DA-ErikaReliefFund
So far 20 people have been confirmed dead after the passage of Erika. Several communities remain cut off from the rest of the island while a number of locations have been declared special disaster areas Resident of the community of Petite Savanne have been ordered to evacuate with immediate effect.
Meanwhile, Skerrit has stated that efforts are being made to get the main airport back into operation as quickly as possible and hundreds have been engaged to assist.
The airport has suffered major damage as a result of the passage of Tropical Storm Erika on August 27.
PM Skerrit noted that the apron (where aircraft are parked, unloaded or loaded, refuelled, or boarded) was washed away and all the equipment on the ground floor in the terminal building will most likely have to be replaced. He explained that the airport had been flooded and is now covered with mud.
So far, the debris on the runway has been cleared and more equipment is being sent in to clear debris from the tarmac and from the terminal building.
Venezuela and the French will assist with restoration of airport and others have indicated an interest in helping.
The Canefield airport will be used for small commercial flights in and out of Dominica. Additionally, a number of persons have offered their small planes for use.
Those making their way to Dominica can do so through Guadeloupe and Martinique. Skerrit said LIAT has been taking persons to those neighbouring islands from which they have access to Dominica via ferry services.
The authorities in Guadeloupe waived visa requirements for Guyanese and Jamaicans who want to take a ferry to Dominica.
The waiver is valid for Sunday, August 30 and Monday August 31. Customers holding a LIAT ticket to / from Dominica can change their flight to / from Guadeloupe, Martinique or St Lucia at no charge. (DNO/PR)