Barbados will be lending support to neighbouring island Dominica which sustained significant damage following the passage of Tropical Storm Erika on Thursday.
This assurance has come from Minister of Home Affairs, Adriel Brathwaite, during a press conference at Parliament Building today, amidst queries about the island???s response to the disaster.??
???Since last night I was receiving calls from various quarters wanting to know what is Barbados doing to assist Dominica,??? he said.
However, Mr. Brathwaite, also Chairman of the Council of Ministers that manages the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), said a team comprising officials from CDEMA and the Department of Emergency Management, travelled to Dominica today to conduct damage assessments.
???We needed to put the logistics in place to have an assessment in terms of the scale of their damage. In disaster recovery one of the errors that people make, is believing that you automatically know what the country requires. That is not the case,??? he said, noting Government could not respond unless it knew the nature of the requirements.
He added that he expected a comprehensive report on what was needed in Dominica when the team returned later today which would outline the type of coordinated response needed not just from Barbados, but from across the region.
In the interim however, Mr. Brathwaite said the Caribbean Development Bank had already been contacted to advise them of possible needs of Dominicans, while international partners have been put on notice that their assistance would also be required.
???One of the errors that is made to responses to many disasters is responding badly. You end up with things in the Port and you can???t get them out, or people receiving things that they really don???t need. This will not be the case so let us do it properly,??? he urged.
Meanwhile, Mr. Brathwaite empathised with Dominicans, having seen the pictures and reports of the damage the island sustained following the passage of the tropical storm.