“We were one of the few NGOs allowed to fly to Abaco to help the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to open the 1st Emergency Coordination Centre (ECO) thanks to a high-speed satellite connection.” said Armando Samayoa, our Head of mission in The Bahamas, yesterday. Our teams arrived Wednesday in Nassau, capital of the Bahamas. So far, TSF is the only international NGO operating on the completely devastated island of Abaco.
There, some 7,500 people are in desperate need of help. The humanitarian response is being organised from Marsh Harbor, the island's main city, and NEMA has asked TSF for help to establish a satellite connection at the first Emergency Coordination Centre. Many other international humanitarian actors, still in the capital, are expected to reach the island today and set up their operations in this centre. It is therefore essential to have reliable means of communication to coordinate this massive arrival and get the first relief operations to start.
The island is devastated and completely isolated. A large part of the population has not been able to establish contact with their relatives outside of Abaco. TSF will conduct assessments and reaching to people in need as soon as possible to enable them to communicate with their families and regain a little bit of hope after the chaos.