Business sector commended on efforts to aid hurricane-affected territories
DPI, Guyana, Thursday, October 5, 2017
This afternoon four containers containing food supplies, mattresses and water were loaded onto a ship at the John Fernandes Wharf and are due to depart Friday morning.
Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and Minister of State Joseph Harmon who were present at the loading, commended the private sector for their collaboration with the government in aiding neighboring hurricane-stricken Caribbean territories.
“On behalf of the government and Ministerial task force we welcome this humanitarian assistance, we are encouraged by this response,” the Prime Minister stated.
Echoing similar sentiments, Minister of State Joseph Harmon remarked that is was a powerful demonstration of unity for the benefit of others in need.
According to Civil Defence Commission (CDC) Director-General Colonel (rtd.) Chabilall Ramsarup, the four containers weighing in excess of 30 tonnes, and cost approximately GY$15-18M, will dock in Dominica. From there, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Agency (CDEMA) will deploy supplies to other Caribbean territories that were affected by recent hurricanes.
There are also two additional containers being packed, and the CDC hopes to obtain sufficient supplies to fill them in time for departure on Friday morning as well.
Managing Director of John Fernandes Shipping Ltd., Christopher Fernandes disclosed that the containers will be shipped free of cost. The majority of the supplies were donated by the Private Sector Commission (PSC) and its representative Deodat Indar observed that when called upon they will respond. He said the commission is aware that it is an ongoing process and is prepared to gather additional materials to fill containers.
Additionally, George Bulkan of Bulkan Timber Works reported that his company will be shipping a container of 100 percent greenheart lumber, rough sawn as well as kiln-dried lumber (including flooring and wall) on October 7, to Dominica. The material is worth approximately $3-4M.
Beginning from the weekend of 6-7 October, local commercial planes will be transporting some 80 Guyanese nationals back to home. This agreement was made today by local airlines in the presence of Minister Harmon, and Colonel Ramsarup. “We are very elated that we are having this type of response from the private sector and from the broader Guyanese society,” Prime Minister Nagamootoo reiterated.
The CDC Director Colonel Ramsarup disclosed the CDC will be sending in food items, that cannot withstand shipping such as plantains, pumpkins, yams and other locally produced vegetables and fruits, on the aircraft as it travels to the various islands.
The next phase will be the preparation of containers carrying building materials, as Guyana continues to aid the Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barbuda, St Marteen, Dominica and Tortola in the BVI.
By: Zanneel Williams