Guyana promises St. Vincent a “ship” load of volcano relief supplies; call issued for “immediate needs”

Last Updated on Saturday, 10 April 2021, 10:38 by Denis Chabrol

St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves.

Prime  Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves on Saturday said Guyana has promised to dispatch a ship-load of emergency relief supplies in the wake of the explosive eruption of the La Soufriere volcano Friday.

“The President of Guyana has been in touch with me quite often. They (are) loading a ship to send a lot of supplies,” Dr. Gonsalves said in a national address Saturday morning.

The Vincentian leader said President Irfaan Ali informed him that on Friday that he held a meeting on Friday with the Guyanese private sector. “They have opened a special account asking for private sector donations for St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” Dr. Gonsalves added.

The Prime Minister’s announcement followed word from Guyana’s Civil Defence Commission (CDC) that it was working with the business community to secure a list of supplies to be sent to that sister Caribbean Community (CARICOM)- member state. “The (PSC) is pleased to support this cause by collaborating with the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) in mobilising support for St. Vincent and Grenadines. To this end, we are working as we speak to supply as many items as possible on the immediate emergency needs,” the CDC and PSC said in a joint statement.

The umbrella PSC of several business chambers countrywide said following a meeting with the CDC Director-General, Lt. Col. Kester Craig that the items would be dispatched by the fastest mode of transportation depending on the situation in St. Vincent.  “The relief packages will go either by air or by sea, depending on the developing circumstances of the disaster. Emphasis has been placed on providing priority items identified by the impacted island to ensure that the supplies are delivered in a timely manner to reach the immediate needs of the citizens impacted,” the PSC said.

To date, 62 shelters are occupied with approximately 2400 evacuees. Additionally, some 600 residents have been transported by marine assets.

The PSC said the Guyana government, in collaboration with the Private Sector, would coordinate with the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) to “ensure relief supplies are efficiently mobilised, shipped, and distributed to those in need.”

The CDC and PSC said they would continue to closely monitor the situation and provide relief updates. To donate items, please contact the Civil Defence Commission on telephone numbers 600-7500 and 226-1114, or visit their Headquarters on Thomas Road, Thomas Lands, Georgetown.

Hereunder mentioned are the current immediate needs which are subjected to change:
Water Tanks (800 and 1,000 gallons) – 1,000
Buckets (5 gallons) – 5,000
Folding Cots – 10,000
Portable Potties (Toilets) – 150
Blankets – 30,000
Field Tents (20ft x 20ft) 910ft x 10ft) – 50
Field Kitchen – 2
Sleeping Mats – 3,000
Respirator masks with filters – 1,000
Goggles – 25,000
Reflective Vests – 2,000
Caution Tape (100ft roll) – 100
Hygiene Kits – 10,000