The OECS Bar Association is concerned about what is happening in Dominica, especially reports of looting, following the passage of Hurricane Maria last Monday.
Widespread looting has been reported on the island following the catastrophic category 5 hurricane which left 15 people dead and more than 20 missing.
“We have heard of all the reports of looting happening and I know members of the St Lucia Defence Force have gone up to augment the forces there from the Regional Security System already, so we are helping in that respect,” President of the Association Thaddeus Antoine said.
“As lawyers, we are going to help as best as we can in the situation.”
Antoine explained that the 14th annual OECS Bar Association Regional Law Conference was being held in Roseau things were drawn to a halt with the then pending arrival of Hurricane Maria.
“We were in Dominica for a meeting of the OECS Bar . . . all the justices of the Court of appeal were in Dominica as well . . . about 80 persons in all. They would have left a bit early because of the storm and some of the members stayed behind because they couldn’t get a flight out of Dominica. In all about five.
“The Government of St Lucia along with our National Emergency [Management] Organization, we have been trying to mobilize persons to find out where they were in St Lucia and try to get them back here.
“Our St Lucia Defence Force went to Dominica and they are there right now but we are happy that the Barbados Defence Force helped us on this mission and brought down several of our lawyers, and St Lucians and people from St Vincent and the Grenadines as well,” Antoine said.
He said the association had started a storm fund to aid members who were affected by Hurricane Irma in Anguilla, the British Virgin Island and Barbuda.
Now with the passage of Hurricane Maria, that fund now seems set to be extended to include Dominica.
“In case of the Bar Association of the Caribbean, we have asked then to be in solidarity with [us]. We have been and we continue to raise funds to help out the families,” he said.