Haitian Charge d’Affaires Dorval Darlier was yesterday desperately trying to find a way to get relief supplies to Abaco in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.
“I was contacted by my president from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Haiti, and he told me whatever I have in the embassy, just put it on a boat to help to assist the people who are in need down there,” he said.
“I received a lot of calls this morning. I received calls from Haitian-Bahamians. I received calls from the Haitians down there, even from the Bahamians, and they told me they are in need.
“I think the government should know that, and there is a lot of people in Treasure Cay…who are stuck there and really need help.”
Hurricane Dorian pulverized Abaco and Grand Bahama. The storm, which made landfall in Marsh Harbour, Abaco, as a Category 5 hurricane with sustained winds of up to 185 miles per hour, “decimated” the community, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said.
He noted that The Mudd, a Haitian shantytown, was destroyed. There have been 23 confirmed deaths so far, but more can be expected. Nassau Guardian reporters on the ground on Abaco reported seeing several dead bodies in The Mudd area.
Darlier said he is seeking to charter a plane to Abaco to send supplies.
“I need to get clearance to do that,” he said outside the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) headquarters.
“That’s why I’ve come to find out what I can do and what is necessary for me to do so I can help.”
Darlier said that the tragedy transcends issues of nationality and origin.
“Everybody is in need,” he said.
“It’s not about Bahamian. It’s not about Haitian. It’s not about the flag color, as the prime minister said. It’s all about helping. Whatever it is, I am going to charter a plane right now just with what I can find. Whatever I can find in Super Value, I will just put them in the plane and I have the funds. My government is allowing me to do whatever it is. They have given me the green light to go.”
Asked about the loss of homes in Haitian shantytowns, Darlier said he believes the Haitian and Bahamian government should work together to find a solution.
“We need to sit together to talk,” he said.
“We will try to find out how we can help. These people, they are here. It is not about who is legal or illegal. It is about helping people.”
He urged Haitians who are in the country illegally to call for help and not be concerned with fears of deportation.
“It is not about fear right now,” he said.
“It is about coming forward to help whoever is in need.”