The Cable & Wireless Charitable Foundation (CWCF) says it has made a commitment to support the hurricane recovery and restoration efforts in The Bahamas, and announced the donation of US$75,000 to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and US$50,000 to the Rotary Club of Grand Bahama.
The money, said the foundation, will support the islands of Grand Bahama and Abaco, the two islands devastated by Hurricane Dorian just a few weeks ago. Funding from the foundation will be used by both organisations to bring some relief to the people and communities in the impacted islands.
Inge Smidts, CEO of C&W Communications (parent company of The Bahamas Telecommunications Company), and chair of the Cable & Wireless Charitable Foundation, said, “The aim of the foundation is to make an immediate difference in the lives of those affected by disaster. Our first concern is always people [so] as soon as the all clear was given our teams were on the ground to ascertain the damage and advise on the assistance needed in terms of what our colleagues and the communities in general urgently required, and to also assess how quickly we could begin to reconnect communications services. We know it will take many hands over time to return these islands to normalcy and so we were delighted to also partner with NEMA, and Rotary to get urgent relief to those communities that need it most. They have both been doing a super job with restoration and recovery efforts and we will continue to work with them to rebuild these communities.”
NEMA is the disaster management committee within the Government of The Bahamas. Established several years ago to assist victims in times of disaster, their purpose and focus is on the importance of being properly prepared for hurricanes and other disasters.
Director of NEMA, Captain Stephen Russell said, “This monetary donation from the CWCF is very much appreciated at this time. We have had a massive outpouring of kindness from regional and international organisations, including governments, who have provided us with enough food to last a year. And for that we are grateful. However, given the large number of evacuees that we now have to care for, we are in need of funds to cover additional resources that are urgently required.”
Since the hurricane, the CWCF has issued US$500,000 in humanitarian aid. This includes 5,000 care packages comprising Smartphones, prepaid SIM cards and personal care items. Packages were distributed in New Providence from the Odyssey Airport, Bahamas Fast Ferries Dock, Sir Kendall Isaacs Gym, the Fox Hill Community Centre and in Eleuthera and Andros.
In addition, the foundation shipped and airlifted 64 generators, 30 cases of waters to hospitals, churches and emergency care centres. Ten of the generators were donated to the Emergency Room Doctors from the Rand Memorial Hospital in Grand Bahama. The foundation also recently donated US$25,000 to World Central Kitchen to support their food programme.
The Rotary Club of Grand Bahama is a network of business, leaders, and problem-solvers who come together to make positive, lasting change in the local communities. Area Governor of Rotary Clubs of Grand Bahama Island, Lisbeth Knowles, expressed her gratitude to the CWCF, saying: “The damage caused by Hurricane Dorian is unprecedented and many families have lost everything. This grant will enable Rotary to distribute critical supplies to impacted persons and allow us to begin our building material programme to rebuild Grand Bahama Island. We welcome every level of assistance that allows us to provide hope to many vulnerable families as we help them to recover and rebuild their lives.”