Two days after the first shipment of 350 tonnes of disaster relief items arrived in St. Vincent and the Grenadines from Guyana, another shipment is on its way and Guyana is preparing to set sail yet another vessel with 275 tonnes of relief supplies.
On Monday morning, the third ship was being loaded at a city wharf and is expected to set sail on Tuesday, once the weather and tide are favourable.
In a telephone interview with the News Room on Monday, Director-General of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig said this third shipment will make a stop in Barbados before heading to the volcano ravaged island of St. Vincent.
Craig said Guyana has included in this shipment, in keeping with President Irfaan Ali’s promise, water tanks and water for Barbados.
“The ship goes to Barbados first before heading to St. Vincent… yes, it will deliver water tanks and water to Barbados as the President has promised,” he said.
Already affected by the ash from the volcano, which forced the closure of the airport and blanketed parts of the island, Barbados remains cautious that with more eruptions expected they are far from out of the woods.
In addition to the water tanks and water, the shipment also includes a consignment of food and wide range of other necessary and requested items.
Shortly after the first shipment arrived in St. Vincent on Saturday last, Prime Minister, Ralph Gonsalves, referring to biblical teachings, hailed Guyana as the head cornerstone in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
PM Gonsalves also thanked President Irfaan Ali personally, referring to him as a “good Samaritan.”
Gonsalves said Guyana’s pledge of continuous support in coming months is welcomed as St. Vincent also prepares for the upcoming hurricane season.
In an interview with the News Room on Friday, Guyana’s Consul General in St. Vincent, Nigel Russell explained that the bulk of the relief items in the first shipment will go to the government of St Vincent to help them bring relief to persons in shelters across the country, while two crates of requested items will go directly to his office to assist persons on the ground.
Russell and his team at the Consulate, along with volunteers, have been working over the last week to register Guyanese and set up distribution points. He pointed out that with no ventilators on the island for asthmatic persons affected by the haziness of the continuous falling of ash, Guyana is slated to send ventilators there in another shipment expected within the next two weeks.
The island, which has experienced several eruptions at the La Soufrière volcano in the last seven days, is still dealing with the effects of fallen ash.
The La Soufriere Volcano remains active; it began to explosively erupt two Fridays ago, and there have been periodic eruptions, covering the island with ash, and volcanic flows of molten rock and gas have gushed down the mountainside.