High praise went to Guyana’s private sector on Tuesday as President Irfaan Ali and Prime Minister, Brigadier (ret’), Mark Phillips, ventured to the Muneshwers wharf to inspect the third shipment of relief supplies for St. Vincent and Barbados; both countries are dealing with the aftermath of the La Soufriere volcano eruption.
This shipment of some 250 tonnes of supplies was packed into the ‘Lady Fazeela’ vessel and will depart Guyana’s waters on Tuesday to head to Barbados then St. Vincent – a trip estimated to take five days.
“This tells a story of how [our] local private sector [has] a strong commitment to [their] social responsibility. I think, that as a nation, as a government, we ought to be very, very proud,” President Ali said in his remarks.
A portion of the supplies from this shipment will go to Barbados, the Head of State explained, as the plume of volcanic ash from the eruption disrupted the country’s water supply, leading to a shortage.
“Barbados is also tremendously affected; [the] airport was closed completely for a prolonged period; the water resources tremendously stressed to the extent that they do have water shortages, so on this shipment, we will be sending water, and water tanks, also to help Barbados in their recovery efforts,” the Head-of-State said.
President Ali expressed hope that the same level of solidarity can be maintained even when sister nations are not battling disasters.
“It must not only be disasters that bring us together. It must not only be disasters that push us to work like this together. This must be a part of our culture, and building our country and building the CARICOM region.
“I want to assure Prime Minister, [Mia] Mottley and Prime Minister, [Ralph] Gonsalves that not only we are with them in this immediate term, but we are with them throughout the process of rebuilding not only the physical infrastructure but rebuilding the lives that would have been affected,” the President said.
The relief efforts are being led by the Director-General of the Civil Defense Commission (CDC), Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig along with ranks from the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Coast Guard and other members from the CDC.
The first shipment of 350 tonnes arrived in St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Saturday last while another shipment, consisting of two shipping containers of water, left Guyana on Tuesday last.