Joint chambers, trade ministryto send relief to Windward islands

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

A family starts repairs on their home which was damaged by Hurricane Beryl on July 1 in Ottley Hall, St Vincent. – AP PHOTO

The Joint Chambers – Amcham, the Energy Chamber, TTMA and the TT Chamber of Industry and Commerce – plan to purchase and transport relief items to St Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada from proceeds of its joint relief efforts to islands affected by Hurricane Beryl.

TT Chamber president Kiran Maharaj said the joint chambers have a list of items requested by both countries and were working to fill the list. “We have been in connection with our colleagues to better understand by tomorrow what else they are in need of so we would be able to secure it.”

She said the joint chamber initiative was set up in 2017 in preparation for Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria. The Energy Chamber and the TT Chamber are also a part of the larger Caribbean Chamber (Caricham) network that met last week for a meeting on disaster risk reduction in Barbados.

“It gave us insightful information,” Maharaj said.

The TT Chamber, TTMA and the Ministry of Trade also joined to gather relief items to support the affected islands, Maharaj said.

She said the Ministry of Trade is leading the charge, with permanent secretary Randall Karim supervising the exercise directly.

“They put together a group and so we were able to get members to donate a lot of items – everything from drinking water to baby diapers to foodstuffs to hardware materials,” she said. The trade ministry secured two vessels, which Maharaj said would depart from TT ports on Tuesday night.

“They are being loaded on the dock as we speak,” she said. She added that another vessel – a larger one – will be loaded and sent to the islands on Wednesday morning. Relief efforts are also continuing as the Hurricane Beryl heads towards Jamaica. Beryl is now a category four hurricane, spinning west across the Caribbean. The wind speeds of the hurricane have been tracked at 165 mph (265.5 km/h), making it one of the strongest July hurricanes in history. Forecasters warned it could remain at least a tropical storm as it moves toward Mexico.

On Tuesday, Newsday was able to confirm at least four deaths, with Grenadian Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell saying at least three people had been killed and “possibly more,” and St Vincent and Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves saying one person died on the Grenadine island of Bequia on Monday.

If you want to donate through the joint chambers, you can use the following accounts:

Beneficiary Name: The Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago/Joint Chambers

Currency: TT$

Bank: First Citizens Bank Ltd, Pt Lisas

Account Number: 2818368

Account Type: Chequing


Beneficiary Name: The Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago/Joint Chambers

Currency: US$

Bank: First Citizens Bank Ltd, Pt Lisas

Account Number: 2818367

Account Type: Savings