Its been one week since the passing of Irma, and I can’t say it enough of the devastation and disruption of lives this massive storm has caused. The BVI is considered a melting pot of diasporas from the Caribbean and around the world, and so many countries has made provisions to pull their citizens out of the BVI, but the PM of Dominica want its citizens to remain.
Why we should not stay?
- The BVI economy runs on primarily the Financial Service Industry and a small percentage of Tourism. Given the current state of the territory, many jobs were lost, no means of working for a living.
- The recovery response and presence from the UK was very slow; and now that the Royal Army is here, little or no progress has been made to restore the territory to some levels of relief from its devastation. Many of us are at shelters, the hospital with nothing to call our own. We need to come or at least provided some means to settle elsewhere. As a Dominican citizen, it is my hope that our government will reconsider and come rescue us.
- The government of the BVI has not been forthcoming with their intervention on how to assist and secure the well being of those residing, and there in no assurance on their part as to when and how they will be providing help to its people. We too have no assurance from the government of Dominica that we can count of them to rescue us.
- Many homes have been destroyed, many took shelters for their children and families at the homes that were not badly damaged. There are others walking around aimlessly due to no place to stay. The airport had many chartered flights to evacuate people back to their home countries. Just two days ago my Brazilian friends were picked up by their country’s helicopter. It’s heartbreaking watching every other government rescuing their citizens and no one coming for us.
- No Running Water
The residents who heavily depend on the street water for sanitation purposes have no access. Some people had to resort to trenches and Gutters to make use of the little water they can find. It’s total chaos!
Those residents who are lucky to still have cisterns, the water is contaminated and now have a stench and are unable to use it, due to fear that they would get ill. This is a health risk.
To date, I have only seen one small distribution of drinking water which in my opinion is consumed by those who happen to receive it. There hasn’t been any other distribution for days.
- During a disaster such as this, one would expect that there would be a flooding of relief products, particularly food coming into the country by now; but haven’t seen or heard of such. The Governor has declared a state of emergency on this territory, but the aid from outside is not happening in the BVI.
- Debris and garbage everywhere.
One would expect by now the government in association with partner states come together to deal with the sanitation process and make it a priority to avoid health issues, but for now, there is little or no activities to clean up this territory.
The harsh reality is we have been hit by the storm; unavoidably so, however, it was the expectation of everyone that:
- Outside response would be swift and functional
- Gov’t would notify and reassure the residents of their intentions to assist and give information on when the relief efforts would come.
- The provision of food and water for all.
4. The shelter of those without homes
- The governments of those affected would provide safe transportation to its citizens
- The prison infrastructure received extensive damage and prisoners were on the streets. It is our hope that the prisoners would be captured, and the raping would stop.
It is frustrating and depressing after such a disaster, but more so when people are left with no available options on moving forward with their lives.
This territory is not safe and will only get worst if swift interventions are not taken.
The country is in need of skilled workers but for those who are not in that skills set should be evacuated to countries where our lives can be restored. Armed robbery already caused the death of one man. Over 5 cases of aggravated rape and so much fear here in this territory.
There is a cry here and someone needs to attend to us, otherwise, it will be too late.