Telcos set to reconnect the Caribbean after Irma

17 Septembre, 2017, 15:24 | Author: Claudine Rigal
  • Telcos set to reconnect the Caribbean after Irma

In 1666, Barbuda became a British colony and in 1685, the island was leased to brothers Christopher and John Codrington, who founded the town of Codrington - the largest settlement on the island. "Global human cooperation is an absolute necessity".

At a service to give thanks for the deliverance of the peoples of Antigua and Barbuda at Southwark Cathedral on Thursday evening Baroness Scotland recalled the major devastation experienced by six Commonwealth countries so far this year: Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sierra Leone and now Barbuda. As a coral island just a few feet above sea level, Barbuda had few natural barriers to break the impact of the winds. "The extent of the damage is beyond the means of these islands ..."

At the height of the storm, 70 percent of Puerto Rico lost power, and while the nation avoided the decimation of other islands, nearly a million residents are still without power. Rebuilding homes and infrastructure could take at least six months, officials said. Browne said the costs to fix St Martin could top $1 billion.

No one is now living on a small Caribbean island deemed uninhabitable after Hurricane Irma decimated it on September 6.

"What we have to insure now is that, when we rebuild, all of the buildings on the island can withstand hurricane forces of the kind and magnitude that we've seen, because we believe climate change is here to stay".

According to Sanders, Irma was "the most ferocious, cruel and merciless storm" in the island's history. "This is not a situation in which Caribbean islands are going cap in hand or with a begging bowl to wealthy countries".

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"As Caribbean neighbours we must do all we can to let them know we are here to support them in rebuilding their lives", added Stewart, who is also chairman of the Jamaica Observer. Sanders said that pre-hurricane preparation, including importing supplies from the USA, helped provide for the evacuees. Check them out on Instagram and YouTube for more incredible pictures. The country's prime minister has reported that 90 per cent of the homes in Barbuda have been damaged and roughly 60 per cent of the island's population are now homeless.

But the government must now appease homeless Barbudans while trying to tackle what is one of his country's biggest issues in a sustainable manner. "If we don't go back we will go down", he warned.

Speaking to the BBC's Laura Bicker as the evacuation got underway, Mr Browne said that a rapid recovery and rebuild operation was unlikely.

The roughly 1800 residents of the island have been evacuated to shelters in Antigua, the partner island to the Commonwealth nation, and are being housed in shelters there.

LaRocque said that given the scale of the destruction, countries and institutions in the global community must be willing to build on the current relief efforts by the Caribbean Community and he said invitations are already being sent to development partners for the soon to be convened Donors Conference.

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