Friday, March 05, 2010

Wake up call for SVG

Friday, March 5, 2010

Greetings to All!

Firstly, I would like to introduce myself, Vibert Cornwall Chair of the Coventry St Vincent & the Grenadines Association and Member of the National Committee of St Vincent & the Grenadines UK.

I would like to address this communication to the Government of St Vincent & the Grenadines, the Opposition and the people of St Vincent & the Grenadines.

We have all heard the recent news and seen through the media the devastating effects of the recent earthquake in Haiti. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to all of our Haitian brothers and sisters who lost their lives and those whose lives have been so severely torn apart. This devastation has indeed shocked the whole world and no doubt the people of St Vincent & the Grenadines felt it more than most, knowing the disaster happened in their region.

I have been contemplating what our plight would be if this happened in St Vincent & the Grenadines. How would our brothers and sisters survive such a disaster? What measures have we in place should such a disaster strike our blessed homeland? This is something that I am sure many Vincentians have not thought about, but as a Vincentian living abroad I and others can see the bigger picture.

When the disaster struck Haiti initial aid was sent by air due to the port being hit by the earthquake, so the force was on the airport. Let us ask ourselves, if, this was to happen to St Vincent & the Grenadines God forbid. You have seen the size of airplanes touching down on Haiti, could they have landed at E T Joshua Airport? E T Joshua airport could not accommodate one of these large relief planes to land much less to take off! That is why we so need an International airport and I call on all Vincentians to support our new airport that is currently being built. St Vincent is also susceptible to earthquakes, hurricanes and volcanoes. We have no idea when disaster may strike in the magnitude that it did in Haiti, and if it does we are in no way prepared. No way can we rely on sending relief to St Vincent & the Grenadines via Barbados. It’s a sure fact it would not get to St Vincent!

Let us not live in a vacuum, we live in a digital age; the world is a global family which we should be part of. I call on the people of St Vincent & the Grenadines and those who live abroad, in the United Kingdom, America and Canada along with other parts of the world to strongly put forward a proposal to express our need in light of the Haiti devastation to have our own international airport.

I call for all Vincentian Committees in the Diaspora to set up a disaster fund so that we are prepared in some way to meet any unforeseen disaster if St Vincent & the Grenadines were to be hit.

Haiti was a wake-up call for the region, and we were quite fortunate on this occasion. So, I am begging you please, please to continue to support for an international airport.

Thank you and may God bless St Vincent & the Grenadines

Vibert Cornwall