Jamaica Gleaner / Western Bureau:
In a gesture aimed at helping to restore normalcy to life in hurricane-ravaged Dominica, the Tank-Weld Group, a stalwart in Jamaica’s construction sector, yesterday donated a shipment of 100 tons of Galvalume roof sheeting valued at US$200,000 to the Caribbean island.
Following the severe battering Dominica took from Hurricane Maria in September, which effected 95 per cent of the island’s buildings, Tank-Weld’s chairman and CEO, Chris Bicknell, contacted Ronald Jackson, the executive director of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), and offered to assist with the rebuilding.
ASSISTING EACH OTHER
“The destruction in Dominica caused by this hurricane is the worst we have seen in our lifetime. Unlike some of the other Caribbean islands that have recently been badly affected, Dominica has to face this on its own as an independent nation,” said Bicknell.
“We in the Caribbean, who share a similar position, must find ways to assist each other when natural disasters cause extreme loss and suffering.”
Added Bicknell: “Tank-Weld is fortunate to be in a position to make a meaningful contribution to the people of Dominica and thinks that this is the right thing to do.”
The shipment, which was loaded on to a Dominica-bound ship at Tank-Weld Port at Rio Bueno in Trelawny, will go to communities which present the highest levels of vulnerability in normal situations and which would have also been the hardest-hit communities in the aftermath of the hurricane.
In accepting the offer from Tank-Weld, Jackson named communities such as Castle Bruce, Petit SoufriÈre, Grand Fond, RiviÈre Cyrique, Morne Jaune, La Plaine, and Pichelin as among those to benefit.
“It is approximated that a total of 2,146 houses are within these communities. I wish to further advise that CARICOM teams are currently on the ground undertaking a house-to-house assessment to determine the level of damage and to ascertain those that could immediately benefit from the re-roofing exercise,” Jackson told Bicknell.
Tank-Weld’s total contribution includes port, handling, and shipping costs. Tank-Weld also managed to solicit the cooperation of ship owners Oslo Bulk, whose vessel is slated to arrive in Dominica on Tuesday, November 7, with the donated item.
In expressing appreciation for the Tank-Weld donation, Jackson said that he hoped the gesture would inspire other organisations to come to the assistance of the island, which is expected to face a long and difficult road to recovery.