January 10, 2014
Over 13,000 people affected by floods

Over 13,000 persons have been affected by the floods which occurred on December 24.{{more}}

This estimate was given by deputy director of the National Environmental Management Organization (NEMO) Michelle Forbes, in a recent interview.

Although figures are still being calculated, Forbes told SEARCHLIGHT that “we are looking at at least 1,000 families who have been impacted in one way or the other.

“The social assessment is still continuing with the Ministry of Social Development, Central Planning and the Ministry of Education,” she said. “That is our focus right now; getting the exact population who has been impacted in one way or another”.

Forbes noted that there are at least 250 persons living in the emergency shelters at the moment.

She noted that numbers are small in some areas, as persons are still trying to live in their affected homes.

“Nobody really likes to stay in an emergency shelter… but they still need to be provided for, along with the persons in the emergency shelters,” Forbes said.

The deputy director indicated that persons have played a role in assisting others in their time of need.

“When you have these events, I always say the spirit of altruism is always well and alive. Both the corporate and private citizens have been assisting throughout this event. We have persons and we even encourage persons…if they do not want to give directly to NEMO, what they can say is exactly what they want to do and we point them in the direction,” she said.

The St Vincent and the Grenadines Red Cross Society shares similar sentiments.

Communications officer Rendal Allen told SEARCHLIGHT that persons, both locally and in the diaspora have been responding favourably to the country’s situation.

“We’ve had a lot of donations, persons calling and showing their interest in assisting and donating,” he said. “Our volunteers came out in their numbers, as well as spontaneous volunteers…they participated in distribution”.

Allen indicated that Friends of Bequia donated 27 barrels that included food, clothes and water and the Barbadian Red Cross Society has also sent a donation.

Although the SVG Red Cross continues to distribute packages to persons in need, Allen is encouraging persons to support the effort.

“We want to encourage persons to continue supporting the effort. We believe that this will be a long process to recovery…and we encourage everybody to participate and donate and be a part of the process as best as they can,” he said.(BK)