Eighty Guyanese to be flown from hurricane-ravaged islands – PM

Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo yesterday said that approximately 80 Guyanese will be flown home after the recent hurricanes, which left Dominica, the British Virgin Islands and Barbuda with catastrophic damage.

The Prime Minister made this announcement at the John Fernandes Limited (JFL) wharf when he, along with Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, inspected four more containers filled with $18 Million worth of relief supplies, which will be shipped to Antigua and Barbuda this weekend, according to a release from the Ministry of the Presidency.

The Guyanese, who will return home will be flown here by Jags Aviation Incorporated, Roraima Airways, Fly Jamaica Airways, Air Services Limited and Hopkinson Mining Aviation.  The release said that these companies joined the relief effort by offering this service to Government.

“All of them, who we know operate aircraft on a commercial basis have come forward today to give assistance to make flights available to some Caribbean destinations to bring back an estimated 80 Guyanese who would like to return home, and who cannot afford to do so on their own… We are elated that we are having this type of response from the private sector and the broader Guyanese society,” Nagamootoo said.

The Prime Minister added that Government will provide some aviation fuel for the flights and will work on providing identification documents for those who may have lost them during the hurricanes. The first flight is expected to arrive in Guyana this weekend from the British Virgin Islands.

The body of  Derek Ragnauth, who lost his life as a result of Hurricane Irma, will be returned to Guyana on that flight.

Harmon, who also echoed the sentiments of the Prime Minister, said that the Government is happy that members of the private sector and ordinary citizens have donated in cash and kind to the local relief effort. “We have always spoken about the cooperation between the private sector and the state sector and this is a really wonderful, a powerful demonstration of us working together for the benefit of those who are in need,” Harmon said, according to the release.  The Minister also thanked John Fernandes for providing shipping services for the delivery of the relief items.

Director General of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), Colonel (ret’d) Chabilall Ramsarup said that the items amount to in excess of 30 tonnes of food supplies, water and medical supplies . He said that another two containers are currently being packed at the CDC headquarters. “I am hoping that we can get the items to fill it by tomorrow so that we can have it here to catch the line that is leaving on Saturday morning,”  Ramsarup said.

On Tuesday the Minister of State and the Prime Minister had inspected six containers, valued at approximately $20 million in relief supplies. Those containers were dispatched to Antigua and Dominica.

In addition to the relief supplies provided by the Private Sector, the Government of Guyana had pledged an initial sum of US$100,000 to the affected countries through the regional disaster response mechanism.


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