Urgent need for food and water in Dominica

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Local and regional officials spearheading different efforts in Domincia have warned that the  humanitarian situation on that nature island will worsen if relief is not delivered in a more organised manner.
The regional and international community have been mobilising relief since the passage of Hurricane Maria over a week ago. However, people in some areas are still without food, clothing, water and other basic neccessities.
Thomson Fontaine, a Dominican Economist, said the relief effort is yet to start in earnest despite the fact that several roads are now clear.
He said the situation is further compounded by the fact that some Dominicans did not get a chance to stock up on food supplies prior to the storm. And those who did, are now without because of the widespread destruction on the island.
“The authorities on the ground have not been able to organise the relief effort. They have made some isolated drops, though, to some villages. It is not as organised as we would like to see and people are quickly running out of food,” Fontaine said on Sunday.
The economist, who also operates an online radio station said residents have been relaying information to him via the airwaves.
“What we are hearing is not good. I still cannot understand that an entire week after, no real efforts have been launched and that is very concerning to me,” Fontaine said.
Kathleen Pinard-Byrne, director general of the Red Cross on Dominica, who is on the ground in the “nature isle”, also admitted that water and food are in short supply.
Pinard-Byrne said the country has not received any large quantity of food and government has resorted to taking food from all the supermarkets and warehouses for redistribution to people who are in need.
In terms of water, she said the main source of water from the Roseau river was compromised during the passage of the Category 5 storm and government now has to source the necessity from elsewhere.
“The Red Cross has been distributing aqua tablets to sterilise that water, but as far as bottled water is concerned, limited amount of that is on island at this time,” Pinard-Byrne said.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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