Over $50 million in humanitarian relief supplies have been accumulated as the government and the business community pool efforts to help St Vincent, which has been hit by an erupting volcano over the past few days.
This is according to the Director-General of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig.
The La Soufriere volcano erupted on April 9. The volcano, dormant since 1979, started showing signs of activity back in December. Now, Guyana and other nations are continuing efforts to provide much-needed supplies.
Thus far, the CDC is loading the first shipment of supplies on the “Meena” vessel docked at the Muneshwers wharf, Georgetown, with the capacity to hold more than 300 tonnes. That shipment is expected to leave Tuesday evening and arrive in St Vincent on Friday.
According to Lt. Col. Craig, two other vessels will be used to ferry the supplies to St Vincent, with one expected to leave Friday.
“We received a large quantity of items ranging from food supplies, personal protective equipment, masks and sanitation supplies for the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
“…we have here more than enough items to full the first vessel and then we move on to the next,” the CDC head told the News Room on Tuesday.
But while this is so, the effects of the disaster are expected to last months. As such, he urged the public to continue to support the relief efforts.
“This operation will not be a one-off thing because it will take some time for the country to recover from this disaster and be on that trajectory of normal operations.
“So, I would like to appeal not only to the business community but to the ordinary citizens – assist in any way you can.
“It does not have to be anything big… just bring whatever you can donate,” he urged.