Jamaica, on Wednesday (November 4), shipped off close to $50 million worth of bridge infrastructure and materials to tropical storm-ravaged Dominica, fulfilling a pledge that was made nearly two months ago.
The donation, initiated by the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, represents a joint public/private sector partnership.
It included two Bailey bridges from the National Works Agency (NWA), six tons of steel from Tank-Weld, and 18 tons of cement from a combination of interests. Oslo Bulk will ship the items to Dominica.
Minister of State in the Transport Ministry, Hon. Richard Azan, who watched the shipment from Tank-Weld’s Port Rio Bueno in Trelawny, said the donation is the largest ever contribution of relief items by Jamaica to another country.
He said the donation was Jamaica’s way of showing solidarity with the people of Dominica.
“It is a big thing that Jamaica is in a position to respond to our sister Caribbean territory in this way. We are grateful to God that we ourselves have been spared from disaster this season and we are thankful for the opportunity to help our neighbour,” he said.
Mr. Azan, on September 6, led a Jamaican delegation for a week-long visit to Dominica following the ravages of Tropical Storm Erika. The trip was to assess the extent of the damage with a view to offering technical and other assistance in the recovery process.
“We had pledged technical expertise in the areas of health and engineering, two Bailey bridges, and US0,000,” Mr. Azan reminded.
“We had presented Dominica’s Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, with a cheque when we visited back in September and are now delivering on the other aspect of what we promised,” he noted.
Manager of Tank-Weld’s Port Rio Bueno, Marianne Greaves, advised that the shipment would arrive in Dominica on Saturday, November 7.
“Tank-Weld is very pleased to be part of the effort to “assist in the rebuilding of the country after the devastation caused by Tropical Storm Erika,” he said.
She said Tank-Weld’s donation to the relief effort includes: the use of its ports and all terminal and handling charges associated with the Dominican cargo, six tons of steel, and the loading and haulage of the two bridges and containers of accessories from Kingston to Rio Bueno.
Ms. Greaves noted that it was initially a challenge to find a way for two prefabricated bridges, along with building materials, to be ocean-freighted to Dominica, but the problem was solved through the contribution of Oslo Bulk.
“Oslo Bulk donated the freight and its vessel will sail directly from Rio Bueno with the donated cargo on board and is expected to arrive in Dominica on Saturday,” she said.
The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) also contributed to the shipment. Article courtesy http://jis.gov.jm/