The second shipment of volcano relief supplies to be sent by the government and people of Guyana landed at Port Kingstown mid Sunday morning.
Lady Fazeela arrived laden with bounty and was greeted by the Honorary Consul of Guyana H.E. Nigel Russell, Finance Minister Camillo Gonsalves and other prominent citizenry as well as Port and Customs staff.
Consul Russell remarked that he’d coined the term “love shipment” at the arrival of the first ship load which docked on April 17 and brought with it an estimated 300 tonnes of Guyanese donated supplies.
The gift that arrived on Sunday spanned the 10 districts which represented a unified Guyana in its efforts to aid in SVG’s immediate relief, Russell said.
“This is the second love boat that’s come here. My understanding – you have several to come. Now Saint Vincent [and the Grenadines] has 15 constituencies and Guyana has 10 very big regions. Every region is in this boat. That’s love…. We’re united in this move. All of Guyana is united,” he told the welcoming party.
Consul Russell reiterated his country’s commitment to help in the rebuilding phase of SVG’s recovery. He also reassured the gathering of his country’s steadfast pledge to continue working with local State agencies such as the National Emergency Management Organization. And further exhorted all and sundry to be mindful that volunteer relief can come in many forms.
He said, “relief is not only in getting water and food. I called a woman who is 54 years of age in St. Vincent here.
“She said, ‘Mr. Russell I have water, I have food but this call you’re making here to ask me how I am doing,’ she said, ‘that is relief and that touched me.’ We can call on people and find out how they are doing.”
MP Gonsalves described the ship’s manifest as including “over 10, 000 cases of water on board, over 1, 000 – what’s listed here as food hamper but I that there’s a lot of perishable food on the boat: melons and pineapples and the like. Just like the last time; which would go to shelters – we have over 150 water tanks, a number of cleaning products, sanitary products, grocery items, different types of non-perishable foods as well – pasta and chow mein and rice and these sorts of items and also molasses.”
Gonsalves further acknowledged that the Fazeela shipment was a representation of a nation who is not giving out of its surplus but one who is sharing some of its scarce resources. He said, “the people of Guyana have been demonstrating genuine solidarity in this case… that is exactly what this boat represents:
“the people of Guyana in solidarity with their CARICOM brothers and sisters here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines giving from what little they have and giving very generously to support the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in our hour of need.”