Thursday, May 28, 2020
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Aid groups bring relief to fire victims

Seventeen of the more than 200 people who were displaced by a fire in a shantytown off Carmichael Road on the weekend have found temporary lodging in one of the shelters operated by Great Commission Ministries.

The organization’s executive director, Minalee Hanchell, toldThe Nassau Guardianthat the group includes men, women and children.

She said they were identified after the organization conducted an assessment of the area.

Yesterday, under the watchful eye of the National Emergency Management Agency(NEMA), aid continued to pour in for the displaced residents.

NEMA and its partners, including the Bahamas Red Cross, the Department of Social Services, Great Commission Ministries, and the Salvation Army, distributed boxes of food, clothing and bedding.

NEMA Director Commander Stephen Russell said a preliminary assessment of the area uncovered that there were at least 300 people living in the shantytown, including at least 90 children.

“Our immediate concern is food, water and clothing at this time and to find out who lives in this community,”Russell said.

He said assistance to the displaced residents is being hampered by some residents who live in the neighboring Haitian community. He alleged that they are coming in”and trying to take what they can.”

“So we are trying to document those persons who live in this community so we can better assist them,”Russell said.

The Bahamas Red Cross yesterday brought in two busloads of food, clothing, shoes, blankets, pots plates and hygiene kits.

Red Cross President Brendan Watson said while the organization had to dig deep in its coffers to assist, further assessments will be conducted to provide additional assistance.

Salvation Army Program and Operations Coordinator Damon Bradshaw said the organization will seek to provide temporary lodging.

“As it stands we only have one shelter and that is for females and children,”Bradshaw said.

“Right now we are working with the coordinator of that location to see how best we can get it open because right now the staff is on leave.

“We are trying to get the staff in before we can open it to them at this point. But the shelter should be open very shortly.”

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