Govt coordinating relief for stricken Bahamas

— Calls for collaboration to prepare relief packages

DPI, Guyana, Friday, September 6, 2019

Director-General (DG) of the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon stated that the Cabinet has “noted with much concern, the devastating effects of Hurricane Dorian on sister Caribbean nation, The Bahamas.”

“Cabinet extends its sympathy to the government and people of the Bahamas and its sincerest condolences to the families that suffered from the loss of lives and the destruction of property,” Harmon said at a post-Cabinet press briefing on Friday.

Director-General of the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon

The DG indicated that the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) has taken immediate steps to coordinate a programme to provide relief to the people of the Bahamas. To this end, the commission has activated its response mechanism to facilitate assistance and support for the Bahamas.

They have been meeting with government ministries, agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGO) and the private sector in an effort brief them on the impact Hurricane Dorian had on Guyana’s sister nation and explore possible avenues for relief.

Harmon also noted that “Cabinet further urged that out citizens and business community should join in the effort to provide relief to the ravaged sister CARICOM state.”

At a meeting on September 5, between members of the Private Sector Commission (PSC) and Minister of State, Hon. Dawn Hastings-Williams along with Director-General (DG) of the Civil Defence Commission, Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig and other representatives of the CDC, the PSC assured that “all stops will be pulled out” to ensure that sector does its part in sending aid to the hurricane-ravaged Bahamas.

On Sunday, September 1, 2019, Hurricane Dorian, a Category 5 storm, made landfall on the Bahamas at Elbow Cay, Abacos Islands at approximately 12:40pm with 185mph winds. On Tuesday, September 3, 2019, it downgraded to a Category 3 hurricane but still exhibited slow forward movement.

The “all clear” was issued on September 4, 2019, with the total population expected to be affected on Grand Bahama and Abacos Islands estimated at 76,278. The current death toll stands at 30 but the number is expected to rise as assessments continue throughout the islands.

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