The work in the Bahamas is far from complete. The process of rebuilding will take years and there are whole communities that have been abandoned as there are no materials or people to help with the rebuilding process. The Abaco Islands and Grand Bahamas are particularly hard hit. People have been living in our tents since September 2019 and they are worried as the upcoming 2020 hurricane season approaches. DAC, DA UK&I and DA USA are working on a longer term plan to help with the rebuilding process.
As the new Executive Director for Disaster Aid Canada (Sept 1, 2019), I learned a lot from our relief project in the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian struck. Our contacts with Rotary Clubs in Nassau and Freeport made all the difference. We only sent materials that were asked for and needed and we knew that we had reliable partners on the ground who were able to oversee the distribution and set up.
Our relationship with Disaster Aid USA paid huge dividends because of their experience in the area and skill with logistics. Our support from UPS with the shipping of the materials was invaluable, they the goods for no charge through their own charitable program. Our work in the Bahamas confirmed my commitment to only send materials that were needed, only work with trusted partners and then to follow up and make sure the relief we had sent had worked out. In all Disaster Aid Canada sent close to $62,000.00 in relief supplies to the Bahamas.
Gerry Beltgens - Executive Director