Dominica a land ‘brutalised’ – reflection on the fury of a hurricane

Dominica Hurricane Maria damage downtown buildings (OECS)By Peter Richards

(CMC) – When I lived in Dominica, nearly two decades ago, it would take me at least 15 minutes to walk from the capital, Roseau, to Loubiere in the south.

Yesterday, it took me nearly two hours. I had no choice. Transportation was impossible given the widespread disaster that Hurricane Maria brought to this Caribbean Community (CARICOM) island that was just emerging from the ravages of Tropical Storm Erika two years ago.

Unofficially, the death toll from Monday’s hurricane that, in the words of Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit “brutalised” the island, is as high as 60, depending on who you meet. But, so far, the official death toll is 28. The figures vary because the authorities have not been able to visit some of the villages that were hit by the storm with winds in excess of 180 miles an hour.

As I joined in the exodus of people making the daily walk to Loubiere and other villages such as Point Michel, Grand Bay, Bagatelle, Petite Savanne and Soufriere, among others, the talk centred on many people who were killed on Monday night and have since been buried.

Read more at: St Lucia News Online

Hurricane Maria relief efforts – comprehensive list, contact information

As you all know Hurricane Maria has left the nation of Dominica completely crippled, cutting off electricity, telecommunication and water supplies across the island. The destruction is unparalleled. Although assessments are still being made and communication is slowly being restored it has become clear that the country is in desperate need of  basic supplies.

Generously, several initiatives have sprung up in the wake of this disaster to attempt to alleviate any suffering for residents of the island. However, at DNO we are completely aware that there is a lot of information floating around the internet and we therefore have compiled a list of individuals and organizations leading such efforts, who have each been contacted and the particulars verified by DNO. Please note that this is an ongoing list so it will be updated if necessary. Additionally, we have included a  general list of  some of the most immediately needed items. Please support these efforts. The people of Dominica have a long, hard road ahead.

Online Initiatives:


United States

New York

St. Lucia House, 438 E 49th St, Brooklyn 11203
Saturday and Sunday, September 23-24, 11 AM – 5 PM
Contact: Aldona Prosper 646-642-0113
Organized by the Consulate General of Dominica, 685 3rd Ave, New York 10017, 212-599-8478,, in partnership with the Dominica American Relief and Development Association.
Area residents are requested to distribute this flyer.

Read more at: DominicaNewsOnline

CARICOM Foreign Ministers meet in New York

CARICOM Foreign Ministers and the Secretary-General at the last meeting of the COFCOR in May 2017

CARICOM’s response to the increasing number of HIV/AIDS infections regionally is among  matters prioritised for discussions among Foreign Ministers on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly.

The 10th Special Meeting of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Council for Foreign and Community Relations began today, 22 September 2017, in New York, USA.

Foreign Ministers are also discussing the scaling down of MINUSTAH (the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti), as well as the UN response to the cholera epidemic there. The Sustainable Development goals, especially the regional priorities for climate change, are also on the agenda. (more…)

Region focuses on climate smart agriculture

(Photo via BGIS)
(Photo via BGIS)

From September 14 to 15, technocrats, policy-makers and agricultural planners put their collective heads together to come up with suggestions as to how best to strengthen innovation agriculture systems to withstand the effects of natural or man-made disasters.

The officials, drawn from countries across the region, participated in panel discussions and other interactive sessions while attending the 11th Meeting of the Regional Planners’ Forum on Agriculture – Innovation Systems for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development, at the Hilton Barbados Resort.

During the opening ceremony, Programme Manager for Agriculture and Industry at the CARICOM Secretariat, Nisa Surujbally, reminded participants that Hurricane Irma, which swept through the Region as a category five hurricane, highlighted the need for smarter agricultural planning.

“Hurricane Irma underscores even more, the need for Climate Smart Agriculture to be a main component of agricultural planning and national disaster preparedness plans.  We have been working assiduously to mainstream climate change and disaster preparedness into the policy framework for the agricultural sector both nationally and regionally,” she pointed out.

Read more at: Barbados Government Information Service