Caricom leaders to meet to discuss storm damage


(CMC) — Caribbean Community (Caricom) leaders will meet virtually on Tuesday to discuss the effects of the passage of Hurricane Beryl on Monday even as they renewed their criticism of the developed countries for their failure to adhere to promises made to help small island developing states (SIDS) deal with the impact of climate change.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, speaking on the state-owned DBS radio Tuesday, said that the meeting is carded for 10:00 am and the leaders will discuss the situation, particularly in Grenada and St Vincent and the Grenadines where Beryl a Category 5 storm has been blamed for at least one death and causing widespread damage.

But Skerrit said while Dominica suffered as a result of the passage of the first-named hurricane for the 2024 Atlantic Hurricane season, the damage is not comparable to what has been reported in Grenadines and Barbados.

“I could think we are okay,” he said, noting that this is the first hurricane on record so early in the hurricane season.

“Our lamentations and our advocacy to the developed world with respect to climate change, the frequency and the ferocity of these storms are manifesting themselves,” Skerrit said, adding climate change is indeed a quinquennial threat to our survival”.

“We are just spending money in the Caribbean responding to disasters. Money that should be spent on development, health and education and infrastructure, we basically have to keep replacing infrastructure and if you just keep replacing you will never get to the point that you want to get.”

Skerrit said he has been in touch with the regional leaders and clearly what they “are saying to us is it could have been worse”.

“Thank God the main islands of St Vincent and Grenada were not impacted to the extent that was anticipated and of course Barbados was spared hurricane conditions,” he said.

“We have a meeting this morning at 10 to receive reports from CDEMA (Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency) and also from the governments impacted so we can assess our collective response and assistance to those countries affected.

“But it is a reality we have to confront and our hearts and prayers go out to all of those citizens in the countries that have been impacted by the hurricane,” Skerrit said, noting that it would cost the countries a significant amount of funds to repair, homes and infrastructure damaged by the storm.

Skerrit said at a time when every single country has its own unique challenges, he tries not to get “upset…or angry at the developed world, but this is really unfair to us in this part of the world”.

He said commitments had been made in terms of compensation by the developed countries “to allow us to have access to resources to build resilience to climate change and we have shown in Dominica that you can, in fact, employ the technology”.

“Of course, I will cost you, but if you had the resources, if you have the funds you can certainly invest with resilience in mind and place you in a better position to withstand and respond to the natural disasters.”

Skerrit said that the situation now is that regional countries are forced to spend scarce resources every month in dealing with climate change events, including droughts, and that “we are no longer waiting for every year to prepare…for the hurricane season”.

“I think it is dramatically unfair it’s unjust and we have to continue the fight because you cannot give up…my hope and prayer is that this fight cannot be seen to be only a government fight.

“It has to be the collective will of all the institutions, the universities in the Caribbean, the private sector in the Caribbean, student bodies …everybody must play their part in lending their fight to this fight,” Skerrit said.

Meanwhile, Bermuda Premier David Burt said that the British Overseas Territory is “concerned about the safety and wellbeing of our friends and neighbours in the region”.

“I have reached out to Dickon Mitchell, the prime minister of Grenada, to share that Bermuda is standing by to support Grenada in any way possible,” he added.

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  1. The 13 square mile island of Curriacou, which is part of Grenada with 13 thousands inhabited were severely affected to the point that 75 of homes lost roofs.

  2. PM Skerrit of Dominica is correct in holding the developed countries for Climate Change.
    Most Caribbean Countries need to:
    1. Encourage importing vehicles sustainable energy vehicles. Discourage importation of used gas-guzzling vehicles.
    2. With our abundance of sustainable energy, (i.e. sun, wind, thermal. hydro, waves) We must encourage investment and usage in these systems.
    Several countries and or counties, have achieved 100% BC Canada, produces 100% of its own needs and exports surplus to the USA surplus. The performance of both Dominica and Antigua Barbuda is abysmal.
    The World has already achieved 30%.

  3. Developed countries also experience wildfire, drought, tornado and in colder months ice storms. These all contribute to infrastructure and social damage to citizens.
    To blame the developed countries for the woes of the Caribbean countries during this catastrophic event is just Politcal Innuendo and meaningless.
    Politicians stop whining, blaming and lining your pockets.
    Provide proper government direction and less excuse.

  4. Caribbean leaders should stop this bourgeois type of elitist politics where now there is a disaster , they will get together for fine wines and eat delicacies at some foreign own hotel conference center which will consume scarce financial resources that could have gone to the real suffering people of these countries, they should have been using Skype conference video calls instead. I think the kind of leadership we have is and assimilation of former white colonialist, the modus operandi of these inter island ministerial interaction is been design to benifit foreign own business with lots of monies spent on these hotels and conference center and catering services, and you know these Caribbean ministers who suddenly gain power by some fanatic voters without political ideology, never really experience certain standards of living socially and economically, so they exploit their countries tax money enjoying vacations and travel allowances and mileage flying, I hope a genuine approach is made towards the people in need and not fatten these rats we have as leaders who will make white own foreign hotels make monies on the suffering people back.

  5. Well SAID Eldread.Where is LIAT (1974) LTD? I am not hearing a word from INTER CARIBBEAN MOTTLEY AIRLINE offering any help to the OECS COUNTRIES.I guess you have to pay them before they FLY.INTERCARRIBEAN is a TURKS AND CAICOS register AIRLINE NOT PART OF CARICOM.

  6. BARBADOS and STVINCENT turn their backs on LIAT.What happen to STVINCENT RINKY DINKY AIRLINE GONSALVES BACK? Call them for help.Sit and wait for any help from BARBADOS. They have no respect for the people in the OECS by descriminating LIAT workers in the OECS, paying BAJANS their full SEVERANCE.GOD is good he is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient in our lives.BERYL is just the start more to come.THOU SHALL NOT COVET or DISCRIMINATE. pay us our SEVERANCE.

  7. G .B Don’t let MOTTLEY trick you ensure the INAUGURAL flight out of NIGERIA with AIR PEACE land in ANTIGUA a HUB for AIR PEACE with onwards connections to the OECS ISLANDS and BARBADOS on LIAT 2020.If BARBADOS want a DIRECT FLIGHT out of NIGERIA to BARBADOS let the BARBADOS GOVERNMENT pay AIR PEACE a SUBSIDY to OPERATE THE FLIGHT.

  8. BARBADOS undermining the start up of LIAT 2020.BARBADOS wants to be the first to BOAST that the FIRST COMMERCIAL FLIGHT linking the AFRICAN CONTINENT with the CARIBBEAN land in BARBADOS.Do not allow that G.B ANTIGUA is the HUB for AIR PEACE with 70% EQUITY IN LIAT 2020.therefore ANTIGUA WILL BE the FIRST.

  9. OECS BOYCOTT THE IMPORTS MADE IN BARBADOS PRODUCTS including the ROCK HARD CEMENT let the BAJANS make cement soup and drink it.As a major share holder with 51% shareholding equity in LIAT (1974) LTD stop discriminating us.We are looking for the same 100% severance THE GOVERNMENT OF BARBADOS paid the BARBADOS WORKERS.MOTTLEY stop being vindictive and despotic to us.You are nothing else but a COWARD.we are human being not animals.

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