“When Tropical Storm Erika hit the tiny Caribbean island of Dominica on August 27, 2015, it killed more than two dozen people, left nearly 600 homeless and wreaked damages totalling more than a billion dollars.
The storm which dumped 15 inches of rain on the mountainous island, caused floods and mudslides and set the country back 20 years,” according to Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.
He added that the island was inadequately prepared for a storm such as Erika. Many roads and bridges were simply not robust enough to withstand such high volumes of water.
The Dominica’s Prime Minister ”said it is critical that there must be relatively quick access to this Fund by those it is intended to assist.”
In a national address shortly following the storm, Skerrit said that hundreds of homes, bridges and roads had been destroyed and millions of dollars in financial aid were needed to help the country bounce back.
“In order to get back to where we were before Tropical Storm Erika struck, we have to source at least 88.2 million dollars for the productive sector, 334.55 million for infrastructure and 60.09 million for the social sectors,” Skerrit said.
Dominica’s neighbours in the Caribbean were the first to deliver aid in the form of medical assistance, telecommunications engineers, and financial aid, and were followed by essential supplies and manpower from Venezuela and doctors and nurses from Cuba.
Now, 18 months later, Skerrit said the island is still in the initial recovery stages of the devastation wrought by the storm, and he is pleading for swift action from international funding agencies for his country and its Caribbean neighbours which have been impacted by severe storms in recent years. Continue reading