The Brits are here

British vehicles in Dominica
British vehicles in Dominica

The Brits are here, all 167 of them from the Royal Navy, and with their arrival comes fresh hope for the residents of Dublanc, Bioche, Colihaut and Coulibistrie who felt the wrath of Tropical Storm Erika on the morning of Thursday, August 27, 2015.

The HADR (Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief) Troop was in the Region on an Atlantic Patrol Tasking (APT) North mission. The Unit provides assistance primarily to British Overseas Territories but also to any territory which requires assistance.

It took just one call from the Department for International Development (DFID) at the behest of the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica and on Wednesday, September 2, 2015, a mere two days later, the ship arrived in Dominica carrying cases of water, food supplies, toiletries and emergency relief stores sets that include hand tools, generators, tarpaulins, water pumps, lighting kits etc.

Twenty-four-year-old Captain Chris Swanwick, Officer in Command of the HADR Troop, explained that the ship is fully equipped to assist in relief operations.

“We have lots of big trucks that can carry around quite a lot of weight, a 15-ton truck that has its own crane at the back, a JCB tractor which has been working from dusk to dawn since we got here, small craft, a maxi craft barge used to bring the vehicles ashore and a helicopter,” he stated.

The ship is anchored just about a quarter of a mile offshore at Dublanc and the playing field there is being used as a distribution and dispatch point for the supplies and troops.

The troops are also servicing areas in the South-East and North-West via helicopter.

The British Military is being supported by the Dominica Cadet Corps headed by the Corps’ Operations Officer, Capt. Lincoln Robinson. Eight non-commissioned officers (NCOs) or senior cadets have been deployed to Dublanc while others are stationed around the island assisting the recovery efforts.

“We have been doing a lot of cleaning and removal of debris so that we can get people’s lives back to some level of normalcy.,” Robinson said. “The first project was the Coulibistrie public convenience so persons can have access to it and the next step will be the primary school.  We would have to first clear the high pile of silt around the school that is preventing the water and mud from flowing out of the ground floor of the school and then power wash it.”

Capt. Robinson believes that, while the tropical storm was a natural disaster, the magnitude of it was perhaps man-made.

“A lot of the problem is that you have people who do cultivation close to the river area and even not too close but what they do is they leave all the trees and the debris lying there because they figure it’s not affecting their home or the nearby community.,” he stated. “When the water comes and it brings everything down then it causes the kind of destruction that is beyond our comprehension so I’d like to tell individuals if they cleaning, cutting trees, they need to get rid of them in the best possible places so that those types of destruction wouldn’t reoccur.”

The HADR Troop was deployed to the areas in the north by the national Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) and anticipates that they will be in Dominica for a few more days.

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15 Comments

  1. PREACHERS KID
    September 7, 2015

    GREAT JOB BRITS. GRADUALLY WE WILL MAKE IT

  2. kubulol
    September 6, 2015

    I’m sorry to recall this at a time like today :
    but I cannot forget that some pple in DA, following their mentor ( Chavez ) consider the Brits, the former colonisers, as horrible evils !
    As a matter of the fact, Melville Hall name has been changed, for that reason.
    Now that the Brits ( plus other Europeean countries and USA ) come and help, they are no longer evils then ?

    • Gabby
      September 7, 2015

      You understand it is possible to denounce the evils of colonialism and support a humanitarian gesture from the descendents of those colonisers in a country that is now independent, at the same time, right?

  3. The Real Facts
    September 5, 2015

    Thank you Brits and all others who have come to Dca’s aid.
    I took note that, “the magnitude of this disaster was perhaps man made.”
    I am not an expert. However, I had such an idea which could have caused this.
    Recall a few years ago Canefield, Checkhall and elsewhere were flooded. Houses are built all over D/ca, also on hills where there were only bush/trees.
    Trees are being cut down to build houses/roads. The water cannot go beneath the trees as on estates and in the bushes, etc. There is nothing to block it. The water has a lot of space to flow and so it flows into the villages and cause flooding and havoc.
    Those of us who were born and grew up in D/ca to adulthood have never seen/ experienced this type of flooding and destructive landslides in Dominica, the likes of which recently occurred.
    Government, Minister of Agriculture and others concerned, I hope you made note of what Cpt. Robinson stated and advise the nationals concerned and provide relevant advice.

  4. Me
    September 5, 2015

    People still stuck behind landslides in layou valley and up at Carholm too… They have enough food and water for now but somebody needs to clear roads at some point please…

    • The Real Facts
      September 6, 2015

      This is saddening. I can imagine how scared they were during the storm and afterwards. They are probably still scared. The Layou River is dangerous when it overflows.
      May they get help soon and to be rescued.
      This tropical storm, Erika will never be forgotten as also hurricane David. People are still talking about the latter.
      May D/ca never experience another one and by no means soon. Lord, please put a hand!

  5. Henderson
    September 5, 2015

    well said this is exactly what i have been preaching to the people who live in Dominica Don’t cut trees to the entirety don’t dump into the rivers no one listen toy no one now the brits are saying the same thing

    shame on you all and I’m piss

    • jamesd
      September 6, 2015

      Just to be clear the article says that this came from Mr. Robinson of the Dominica Cadet Corps whom I assume is a Dominican.

  6. Pinnez
    September 5, 2015

    Thanks to Britain for its support and to all other countries and persons who contributed.

  7. September 5, 2015

    Can they go everyvwhere idiot

  8. Stirling Moss
    September 5, 2015

    You gotta love the Brits! Thank you so much and to all those on island as well.

  9. Beverly Bonnie
    September 5, 2015

    Only a few more days? Thanks to them anyways

  10. Lookin on
    September 5, 2015

    do you expect them to be all opver at one time be real thank God for the assistance that we are receiving bro.

  11. Bernice
    September 5, 2015

    What about Checkhall Valley.

    • Gazette Corde Kapi
      September 5, 2015

      Go out there and encourage some of the residents to start doing their share. What ever little you do will go a long way . Foreign governments are sending their men and women to assist us but we must also play our part.

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