Local humanitarian organisations - Is There Not A Cause (ITNAC) and the Living Water Community - are stepping up their efforts to bring relief to Dominicans in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
One week after the disaster, ITNAC team member Brent Hector yesterday told Sunday Newsday the organisation has mounted a major drive to collect food and items for the devastated island.
However, he said the effort was not only limited to Dominica but other islands within the region that have been destroyed by hurricanes.
Referring specifically to Dominica, Hector said the immediate needs were for canned food, dry goods, toiletries, baby supplies, over the counter drugs (Panadol and cough medicine), mosquito repellent and clothes.
He said there also was need for tarpaulins, cots, sleeping bags and blankets “because many Dominicans are living in shelters.”
Next week, he said, ITNAC will begin collecting building supplies.
Hector said the organisation also needed cash to assist with shipping among other expenses.
People wishing to be a part of Dominica’s relief effort, he said, can make a donation to ITNAC’s Republic Bank account - 510009446802
He said the support has been overwhelming.
“People are coming to help sort clothes to help sort clothes and pack items,” he said, adding that people with vehicles can also visit the organisation to help transport items to the port or collect supplies.
Suzanne Dowdy, of the Port-of-Spain-based Living Water Community, said items were being collected for Dominica and other hurricane-affected islands through the TT For Irma Group.
The group was formed in the wake of Hurricane Irma which battered Leeward Island territories, Cuba and Florida earlier this month.
Like Hector, Dowdy said the island was in dire need of food, water, tarpaulins and plywood.
On Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s appeal for TT citizens to open their homes and hearts to Dominicans for a period of six months as the island rebuilds, Dowdy said the community does not have housing accomodation to facilitate this need.
“But we are open, as a community, to whatever the need is. We will always offer what ever we can. It may not be housing but we will do whatever we can.”
Hector said ITNAC has not yet had a conversation about the Government’s appeal for citizens to open their homes to distraught Dominicans for a period of six months.