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View From 'The Voice': Let's all get behind Dominica

ISLE OF BEAUTY: Dominica's flag

THE FACT that the Caribbean island of Dominica has been devastated after the passage of Hurricane Maria is unquestionable.

According to reports coming out of the island, at least 27 people lost their lives and dozens more were reported missing after the Category 5 storm wiped through the eastern Caribbean last week.

The vast majority of buildings were damaged, reminiscent of similar devastation to the island in 2015 which was caused from hurricane Erika.

Dominica is in crisis and it was left to Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit to get the message out to the world that the island was in need of urgent assistance. Addressing the United Nations General Assembly, he spoke of the need for expertise in rescue as well as equipment for rebuilding. Many have already rallied to the cause and an official Dominica Hurricane Relief Fund has been launched. We urge everyone to get behind it.

In what has been an unprecedented hurricane season which has wreaked havoc in the region, people’s thoughts have been redirected to the age-old topic of climate change and whether we are seeing the effects of it unfold before our eyes. Prime Minister Skerrit certainly feels that way, as during his address to the United Nations he said the Dominican people were the casualties in the war against climate change.

“While the big countries talk, the small island nations suffer. We need action and we need it now”, he said.

He was backed by Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness. Holness said:

“The world has been forced to acknowledge that there is urgent need for responsibility, adaptation and resilience as we recognise our changing realities. Climate change is real and it will disproportionately affect those of us who are least prepared to respond”.

The Voice has raised this issue before and we will continue to emphasise it.

As Ulric Trotz, deputy director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, said in an interview with The Voice, the entire way of life in the region is under threat if it does not get much-needed support.

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