Dominica’s International Efforts Relief Coordinator, Baroness Patricia Scotland, has said the devastation caused by Tropical Storm Erika, and to a lesser extent by the remnants of TS Grace, is a ‘real body blow’ to the island.
She said based on size of population and per capita, it is the greatest humanitarian disaster to take place anywhere in the world in recent years.
“I think these two storms have caused a real body blow to our country when you look at the level of devastation,” Scotland, who is on her first visit to the island since she was named international coordinator, said. “It is literally the greatest humanitarian disaster in the last two years anywhere in the world, when you look at per capita and population, we are only 72,000 people…”
She stated that the damages caused are a heavy blow for the island.
She noted that since she was named International Efforts Relief Coordinator, she has been working very hard to galvanize support of the international community.
“And I am really pleased to see how people have responded in our hour of real need,” she noted.
Scotland remarked that she is doing everything she can to enable the world to see the hurt that has been caused, to show the resilience of the Dominican people and their love for God.
“So I think we know that God will continue to bless us and if we work hard and we have the help and the support of others in the international community, I am sure Dominica will outstrip expectations,” she said.
She stated that it is going to take all Dominicans to get the island back on its feet again.
“I think it is going to take all of us, every Dominican, whether they are on island or off island working together to get us back where we need to be,” Scotland noted.
She said she is on the island to get a first-hand look at what happened and what is being done
“And to get a really good idea as to what we need,” she pointed out. “It’s like being given a shopping list, shopping in the international community hearts … that is what I am trying to do.”
On August 27, Erika dumped heavy rains on Dominica, killing several residents and devastated several sections of the island. Roads, bridges and infrastructure were washed away and the island’s main airport was severely damaged. As of Monday two communities, Boetica and Delices, remain cut off from the rest of the island. About a week and a half later the remnants of TS Grace brought more rainfall and more flooding across the island.