Tropical storm Erika has left a trail of destruction across the Caribbean island of Dominica, causing loss of life, severe damage to the island’s infrastructure and untold losses to crops and livestock. The Windward Islands Farmers Association (WINFA) is appealing for donations to its disaster relief fund to support the recovery on Dominica.
You can make a donation to the fund here
The storm, which hit Dominica at the end of August has left at least 20 people dead, 31 missing, destroyed 371 houses, and caused an estimated $612.7 million damage to the island’s infrastructure, with bridges collapsed, roads washed away and thousands of people evacuated from their homes. The overall losses to farmers’ crops are yet to be quantified but it is estimated that around 80% of the island’s banana crop has been lost. Also an estimate of eighty (80) acres of land needs to be replanted while approximately two hundred (200) acres of topsoil have been completed washed away
The storm has demonstrated the increasing threat posed to vulnerable communities by climate change. Intense storms, weather events, droughts and dry spells are amongst the projected climate change challenges for the region in coming years. Along with rebuilding the island’s infrastructure, farmers groups are also emphasising the need for urgent measures to help them adapt to the challenges of climate change.
WINFA’s membership in Dominica includes banana and other fruit farmers along livestock farmers. Donations to the WINFA disaster relief fund will be used to support these farmers in the immediate task of rehabilitating their crops.