Organisations throughout TT are co-ordinating disaster relief initiatives to aid the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Non-profits SEWA International Trinidad and Tobago (SEWA TT) and Concerned Muslims of TT (CMTT) are organising public donations for SVG.
In a brief phone interview with Newsday on Wednesday, SEWA TT chairman Revan Teelucksingh said it began accepting donations on Sunday and has been overwhelmed by the public response.
“Companies are coming forward to assist (and) are providing support,” he said, adding that some companies are offering the goods on their list either for free or at significantly discounted prices.
He said to reduce the number of people handling the items, the organisation is only accepting monetary donations, either through direct deposit or through participating supermarkets listed on itsFacebook page. People making donations through supermarkets will receive a receipt.
He said after the money is collected, the organisation will buy the required items and a few volunteers will help package the goods for delivery. He said SEWA TT aims to be fully transparent with donors and will provide total figures at the end of the project.
Teelucksingh said the team hopes to deliver the goods in two weeks.
In a statement, the organisation said, “SVG is our Caribbean sister island, and we have a duty to help our family members.”
It said it will be providing items identified by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) as common items required in every natural disaster.
They will include 2,000 buckets with food and medical supplies, produced by local suppliers wherever possible.
CMTT, a philanthropic organisation engaged in local humanitarian efforts, also launched a disaster relief initiative for SVG on Monday.
In a statement,CMTT public relations officer Imtiaz Mohammed said the organisation had bought 1,000 cases of 1.5 litre-bottles of water, enough to fill a 40-foot container, and valued at $55,000. He said the water will be shipped to SVG on Thursday on a Caricom boat headed to the island.
“We have partnered with SVG first responders who would be the consignee for this shipment, and they would do the distribution on CMTT's behalf,” said Mohammed.
CMTT has also written to Minister of National Security Stuart Young seeking travel exemptions for a team of six people to travel to St Vincent in two weeks to distribute a second shipment of relief supplies.