Cayman Islands RC sends hurricane relief supplies to Nicaragua
The Nicaraguan community in the Caymans approached the local Red Cross for their technical and logistical assistance and support to help their country recover from Hurricane Felix. 'Felix' made land-fall September 4 as a powerful category five hurricane on the Nicaragua-Honduras border.
Following a meeting with CIRC Disaster Manager Hemant Balgobin, the Nicaraguan Relief Committee was set up to organize the drive in the Cayman Islands.
The committee established a bank account to collect public and corporate donations, while an appeal was made for medication, food, water, clothing and other essentials. CIRC vehicles were used to collect items, and available containers are currently being utilised to store items before shipment. Cuban detainees awaiting repatriation from the Cayman Islands willingly assisted the CIRC in packaging and sorting the items collected.
A list of priority items has been compiled with the assistance of the Nicaragua Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies delegate on the ground in Nicaragua. Nicaragua government officials, and the Moravian Church in Puerto Cabezas, have both been contacted for assistance. Puerto Cabezas was one of the hardest-hit communities.
An 80-foot vessel has been contracted to carry the relief supplies directly to Puerto Cabezas. A few CIRC volunteers will accompany the shipment to assist in its offloading when it arrives.
A core team of disaster volunteers, including two First Aiders, will fly into Nicaragua to not only assist with distribution but to conduct a needs assessment for lumber and construction material for house reconstruction. An appeal is expected to be made back in the Caymans based on the assessment.
The International Federation has launched an emergency appeal for nearly one million Swiss francs ($825,000 USD) to support Central American National Societies coping with the aftermath of Felix.