Diaspora rallies around storm victims in Caribbean


Video: St Vincent stormBy Gerald V. Paul

The Diaspora is rallying around the victims of a Christmas storm which hit several eastern Caribbean islands.
The storm left more than 16 people dead in St Vincent, St Lucia and Dominica, and hundreds of people lost their homes and all their belongings when the massive storm hit without warning on Christmas Eve.
When The Camera contacted D.V. Huggins, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Consul General in his native land on Tuesday, where he was on the ground to assess the needs, he stressed “I would like to encourage the diaspora and friends to send cash and make financial pledges as we continue to keep the economy moving. The hotels – except one – are all open for business. ”
The goal is to raise EC$ 200,000 for relief efforts.
According to a concerned Huggins, “The money will go toward the urgent need to assist about 300 people living in shelters. “
He revealed there are 28 bridges to be rebuilt. Some 300 houses were damaged and miles on miles of roads to be rebuilt. “The damage is estimated over here as half a billion EC dollars.”
Huggins revealed that the government has embarked on a programme of land relocation.
Meanwhile, the combined efforts of various SVG organizations in Toronto for the Flood Relief in SVG, spear-headed by the Consulate office is on track. This has generated a high response from Vincentian nationals. Among the items being collected: mattresses, clothing, toiletries, generators, etc.
On his return to Toronto, a meeting is planned for Thursday at 7:00 p.m. at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Consulate.
Urgent requirements include Mattresses, Collapsible Water jugs, Clothing, Sheet Sets, Galvanise Sheeting, Construcion Plywood, Toiletries (toothpaste, soap, toothbrush, deodorant, etc), Towels, Baby Diapers, Adult Diapers, Hygiene Kits/Comfort Kits, Water Tanks (5,000 or 8,000 gallon), Cleaning Kits (mops, buckets, power wash equipment, Generators and Cots.
Drop off Locations: Kenny Sylvester, 15 Oxford Drive ( Weston and Eglinton) anytime during the day, or call 647- 833-3419; or 1554 Eglinton Avenue West (at Oakwood) anytime, call Calvert Allick, 647-740-0503. Drop offs can also be made to 725 Galloway Crescent, Mississauga, call Janet Ross, 905-896-1461.
Also accepting donations is Hairoun Bakery, 2256 Birhcmount Rd (at Sheppard), 416-754-3854; the offices of Metelsky Plourde LLP, 230 Westney Road South, Ajax, 905-686-1243; and the Consulate General of St Vincent, 55 Town Centre Court, Suite 624, 416 398 4277.
Meanwhile, relief is also being sought for St Lucia, where six people lost their lives in Saint Lucia, and Dominica, where one person was killed.
Saint Lucia suffered massive infrastructural damage as a result of the freak storm, and efforts are underway to collect emergency supplies. Drop offs can be made at K.L.C. Freight Services Ltd Warehouse., 50 Tiffield Road, Unit 15, Scarborough, telephone number 416 291 6733 or at the Consulate General of Saint Lucia in Toronto., 60 St. Clair Avenue East, Suite 909 (Closet intersection: Yonge Street and St. Clair) or St. Clair subway, 416 203 8400.
As part of its Disaster Relief initiative, the St Lucia Toronto Association will be donating all proceeds from its fundraising raffle to assist with the recovery effort in Saint Lucia. The raffle which was launched on December 1st will be drawn on March 1st. Tickets are available from executive members, the Consulate or by emailing stluciatoronto@gmail.com.
No information was forthcoming about relief efforts for Dominica.