A report from Dominica post- Hurricane Maria
Storm Clouds Gathering, via Facebook
Post hurricane Maria report Commonwealth of Dominica - Sept 28 - The scene here is surreal. Devastation everywhere. No visible signs of organization or rule of law.
Over a week after the storm and still no where to buy food (or anything else for that matter). Still no utilities available anywhere. Bathing and washing clothes in rivers and streams. Many have to travel significant distances to get drinking water.
Gasoline sales are rationed on a per person basis. Long lines for that, and supply still doesn't meet demand (sells out).
Communications are only available in a small zone on the west coast. We have to travel a significant distance to send messages.
There is still no coherent relief effort in place. People keep expecting food deliveries, but as of this writing they still haven't come.
The mood in heavily populated areas is tense (looting and violence has been rampant in the capital). The conditions in the shelters are unsanitary and completely chaotic. Many are trying to evacuate.
In the mountain villages where most are farmers the situation is much more calm. Fortunately all of our locations are in the mountains, but even up in these areas there will be food shortages if distribution is not restored soon. The storm destroyed most crops.
We reconnected with more of our crew on Monday and Tuesday. Still some we haven't reached.
On Monday we worked together to put on a temporary the roof for the common house at Pongovi, then we moved east to clear a house that was filled with mud from a landslide, and got running water from their catchment restored.
There is an insane amount of work to be done; far more than is feasible with our current team. There is also a shortage of equipment and materials for repairs (there is still no way to purchase anything).
Our first outside volunteers are going to attempt to enter this week with supplies. We don't know yet whether they will be allowed in. There are conflicting reports as to the status of the ports. Some say only relief workers from established NGOs are being let in.
Once we can confirm that entry is possible we will post contact information for one of our people on the outside who will be coordinating incoming volunteers equipment and supplies.
The trees are starting to get their first leaves back already.