Govt stands cost for Guyanese in hurricane-ravaged Bahamas to be flown home
The Government of Guyana is presently preparing to yet again stand the cost to fly home 23 more Guyanese who were left devastated and stranded following Hurricane Dorian which ravaged The Bahamas on September 1.
A family of five Guyanese has already returned home by flights sponsored by the Guyana Government on September 15.
Though Citizenship Minister Winston Felix could not give an approximate figure for the flights, he noted that Government’s focus is presently on returning 23 more Guyanese safely home shortly.
“We dealt with this first five, this family, and we anticipate there are others. We do not leave Guyanese in distress, who are outside of Guyana. We do not do that. We showed that in 2017 and it continues now…those arrangements have to be properly organised and then we [will] know how they are coming, but these are issues under consideration now” Minister Felix assured.
Thirty-five-year-old Orin Grimmond and his wife, 35-year-old Sholme Grimmond, arrived with their three children at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) on Sunday last.They were greeted by Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr Karen Cummings; Minister of State, Dawn Hastings-Williams and Director of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig.
Orin Grimmond, who was a teacher along with his wife in The Bahamas detailed the horrific experience they faced when the hurricane hit.
The young father reported that his family sought refuge in the ceiling of their Marsha Harbour home.
Noting that his family miraculously survived, Grimmond recounted “The water was rising…It was terrifying because there is no way to escape…And so what we did, we kicked the door out”.
The family does not intend to return to The Bahamas to live but stated that they will return to visit friends and family.
Presently, there are about 80 Guyanese families living on the affected islands. The Government, through the CDC, is coordinating relief efforts for Guyanese living there.
Dorian, a category five hurricane, ripped through the small Caribbean archipelago with winds near 240 kilometres per hour (150 miles per hour), the US National Hurricane Center said.
A BBC report stated that Dorian was the most powerful storm to hit The Bahamas.
Bahamians are now facing severe health threats as they are trying to cope with the lack of access to toilets, clean water, and medication.
Meanwhile, the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI) has set up an account here for persons who would like to make contributions towards assisting persons in The Bahamas.
Persons desirous of contributing financial donations are asked to make those contributions to the account named GBTI Hurricane Relief Fund-Bahamas # 011802963011.