Dominicans living in Antigua describe the “heart-wrenching” situation at home

Residents queue for petrol in Roseau. Photograph: Lionel Chamoiseau/AFP/Getty Images

A Dominican woman who organised a trip to Dominica to take relief supplies to family is happy that she made the journey.

Laurie Laville told Antigua News Room (ANR) that 120 people made the trip on board the ferry-”Lovely One”- on Sunday. They returned on Thursday.

Laville said her family members were elated to see her and receive the relief supplies because they had not received any items from officials, or are running low on food that they bought before Hurricane Maria struck.

“Our people were very happy…we took items to family they were like personal (supplies) and then families would distribute to other families however it goes, but they were so happy, so happy, so appreciative. Even for my mom and dad we walked with… bottles to fill in gas for them, we bought about $275 in gas for them to use in their generator, because the solar panels [flew off the house roof] during the strong winds …they were so happy, people lined up [to receive] gas,” Laville said.

Laville noted that persons on the nature isle are having a rough time, adding that she observed about 100 people queuing to get medical supplies from the lone pharmacy in the area that was open for business.

She said they are gravely in need of food, and two people to whom she spoke said they only received a tin of corned beef, toilet paper, a pack of “Maggie” soup and a tin of milk, and complained that those items were insufficient and pleaded for food.

“They are roughing it down there. Actually, my impression is that it was heart-wrenching. Dominica, it’s going to take a lot to bring back up, it is really painful when you look at Dominica as to what it is today and what it was yesterday. Trees are topless standing like sticks, no leaves, a lot of galvanize, roofs are off, in my opinion every home, every family got affected by that hurricane. Me and my two brothers did a tour of Capuchin to Roseau and we walked right through Roseau and the place is a disaster,” Laville told ANR.

The woman continued, “Well, some of them are just okay with it, some of them just going with the flow, there are a lot of them who are saying that they are hungry, they haven’t received anything.

A lot of people in my opinion eating the little scraps they have left. And what happen speaking with people they expected a category 3 hurricane so they were not prepared… People need food, not particular clothing, people need to stay alive, they need food.”

Laville is planning another trip to Dominica this weekend. The ferry will depart Antigua on Saturday and return on Tuesday.

However, she said about 150 people or more are needed to make the trip because it takes a lot of fuel to make that journey and it is not profitable for the owner of the sea craft if less people travel.  

The return trip to Dominica is a nominal $500, and to date, 34 persons have expressed interest. Laville says she is hopeful that by tomorrow she would have the required numbers to make the trip.

She said Antiguans can also make the journey to donate food items to the nature isle. Laville said she will be at the dock today between 4 pm and 6pm to update persons on particulars of the trip.

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  1. wow! Real serious circumstances, but happy to hear that they were able to reunite with loved ones and deliver much needed supplies to them. I bet that the people will emerge even more RESILIENT from this situation. Out of darkness comes light. Out of hardship comes strength.

    • It is best if L.I.A.T buy a boat. $75000.00 .150 persons @500.00.Insurance?.Port charges?.Just visioning. Or maybe daydreaming.

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