Prime Minister Mia Mottley has announced that as part of efforts to raise funds for storm-ravaged Bahamas there will be a national telethon on Sunday, and she has appealed to all Barbadians to give generously.
Mottley gave notice of the initiative this morning while speaking during the handing over of medical equipment by the Barbados International Business Association (BIBA) to the Eunice Gibson Polyclinic.
Mottley said the monies raised would be handed over to CDEMA [Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency], as the regional agency would be in a better position to distribute it.
“I’ve asked the CARICOM Ambassador David Comissiong, the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) and the Ministry of Public Affairs, Information and
Broadcasting to start the preparations this morning for a national telethon on Sunday that will focus the minds of Barbadians who want to give and who want to donate to that account.
“I’m hoping that all of the media will come on board, but more importantly I’m hoping to meet with the Barbados Christian Council and the Barbados Evangelical Council to be able to humbly suggest to them that it may be useful for them to come up with their own programme for Sunday as well, because this third Sunday must not be about Dorian’s destruction, this third Sunday must be about restitution, recovery and renewal,” she said.
Mottley said even though some Barbadians were going through hardships, it was nothing compared to what residents of the Bahamas were now experiencing.
“We understand that our country has people who feel beleaguered, but however much we feel beleaguered, we have options and freedoms that the people of Grand Bahama and Abaco do not have today, next week, next month or next year. Please work with us to do that which you can,” she pleaded.
The Prime Minister said due to the level of devastation sustained by the Bahamas, monetary donations were a better option.
She said this would put the authorities in a better position to address those critical areas as well as to lessen any possible logistical issues.
“There are systems coming off of Africa even as we speak and that’s why the approach towards the monetary donations is more sensible because there is genuinely going to be issues of logistical supply…” Mottley pointed out.
She also revealed she would be leaving tonight or tomorrow morning to visit the Bahamas, along with St Lucia’s Prime Minister and Chairman of CARICOM Allen Chastanet; Secretary General of CARICOM Irwin LaRocque; President of the Caribbean Development Bank William Warren Smith and Executive Director of CDEMA Ronald Jackson, where they would meet up with Prime Minister of the Bahamas Dr Hubert Minnis.
Ahead of their arrival, Bahamian authorities today reported that the death toll has risen to 20.
Speaking on radio today, Minister of Health Dr Duane Sands said Government was now beginning to get a vivid picture of the loss of life on Abaco and Grand Bahama.
“So, the toll has risen to just 20 persons… in Abaco and Grand Bahama thus far. But bear in mind that search and rescue exercises, exploration of homes that were flooded, is just now starting. We’re gonna have to go door to door in Abaco, and door to door Grand Bahama and we don’t know what we’re going to find,” he said.
Sands added that 17 of the victims were from Abaco and the remaining three were from Grand Bahama.