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Tuesday 12 November 2019
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Relief efforts continue for Karen’s victims

Volunteers of Sewa TT help prepare food packages to distribute to communities affected by flooding in the aftermath of tropical storm Karen. - Tyrell Gittens
Volunteers of Sewa TT help prepare food packages to distribute to communities affected by flooding in the aftermath of tropical storm Karen. - Tyrell Gittens

TYRELL GITTENS

The flood waters that followed the passage of Tropical Storm Karen have subsided but those affected continue to seek assistance. Stepping up to the assist is the local chapter of the international non-profit service organisation Sewa.

Volunteers of the group recently prepared food packages to distribute to residents in the Bamboo settlements and communities of Mt Lambert and Beetham. The packages were made possible through a partnership with the Supermarket Association and supermarkets.

Sharing some insight into the continued flood relief was chairperson of Sewa TT Revan Teelucksingh who said, “Our system is rescue and recovery first, followed by rehabilitation after.”

Revealing that the distribution of food packages was just the second part of the group’s efforts in the affected areas, he shared that the group also assisted in the immediate aftermath of the storm.

“Immediately after Tropical Storm Karen we created some cleaning packs and our volunteers helped target homes in need.” This effort resulted in over 300 cleaning packs being distributed to homes in needs and over 30 volunteers helping to assist those with disabilities clean their houses.

Questioned as to why the food packages were being distributed now, he said, “Normally we wait until everything is clean and settled before we provide food packs.”

“We can’t replace everything they lost but it is something they don’t have to worry about. It is one thing less that they have to buy in the grocery, and they can utilise that money to do something else.”

Teelucksingh says that Sewa TT has a core of 50 dedicated volunteers but in emergency situations their volunteer base can grown to an estimated 200. In the event of flooding emergencies, the group also has a truck provided by St Helena business Harrypersads and Sons and a boat by the Kalpee brothers.

“We have a truck and boat on standby just waiting to be called. In an emergency these people are awake for 48 hours just waiting to be called.”

“While people may think it was not a big deal for Karen and there were not major issues, we are still using the opportunity to practice so that when there is a major issue, we have the volunteers and systems.”

People interested in contributing to the group’s continued flood relief efforts can contact Teelucksingh at 686-6888.

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