UWP Fash­ion Show raises US$5,000 for Do­minica Do­minica de­clares dis­as­ter sta­tus, ap­peals for aid, af­ter Erika left many dead last week

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

On Satur­day Au­gust 29th, 2015 the United Work­ers Party (UWP) hosted a suc­cess­ful fundrais­ing fash­ion event dubbed “Flam­beau Fash­ion Show” at the Coco Palm Ho­tel in Rod­ney Bay.

The sold-out event’s ini­tial in­tent was to raise funds for part of an on­go­ing drive to help vul­ner­a­ble and less for­tu­nate cit­i­zens. How­ever, af­ter news of the dev­as­ta­tion that took place in Do­minica dur­ing the pas­sage of Trop­i­cal Storm Erika, the Party Ex­ec­u­tive felt it nec­es­sary to do­nate all the funds raised at Satur­day’s fash­ion show to the Peo­ple of the Com­mon­wealth of Do­minica.

Party stal­warts and mem­bers of the Ex­ec­u­tive strut­ted down the cat­walk, which was specif­i­cally erected for the oc­ca­sion over the ho­tel’s pool. Mod­els wore an ar­ray of gold and yel­low out­fits in keep­ing with the theme of the evening.

Ac­cord­ing to the po­lit­i­cal leader of the UWP, Mr. Allen Chas­tanet, other re­lief items will be do­nated to Do­minica along with the funds raised.

“We are so grate­ful that so many peo­ple came out in sup­port of the event, par­tic­u­larly when they heard that the funds would be do­nated to the peo­ple of Do­minica. It goes to show that we are a car­ing peo­ple,” said Allen Chas­tanet.

The funds and ad­di­tional sup­plies will be of­fi­cially handed over to the Peo­ple of the Com­mon­wealth of Do­minica in a few days.

Trop­i­cal Storm Erika on Thurs­day 27th Au­gust caused floods and mas­sive mud­slides that killed at least 31 peo­ple and left more than 35 miss­ing on the is­land of Do­minica.

Of­fi­cials have since evac­u­ated sev­eral peo­ple out of the town of Pe­tite Sa­vanne, one of the ar­eas hard­est hit by the storm. Evac­u­a­tions were car­ried out by boat be­cause of dam­age to roads and bridges. Prime Min­is­ter Roo­sevelt Sk­er­rit said that all of the res­i­dents of the town in the coun­try’s south­east would be evac­u­ated.

Sk­er­rit also de­clared dis­as­ter sta­tus for nine lo­cal ar­eas. He said that the ex­tent of the dev­as­ta­tion was “mon­u­men­tal.” “Ac­cess by road to these com­mu­ni­ties is im­pos­si­ble,” he said.

Erika lashed the is­land for more than five hours bring­ing strong winds and in­tense rain that pro­voked flood­ing and land­slides. Hun­dreds of homes were de­stroyed.

Sk­er­rit ap­pealed for in­ter­na­tional aid and es­ti­mated that dam­age from the storm could set the coun­try’s de­vel­op­ment back two decades. He said that re­pairs to roads and bridges across the is­land will to­tal more than $226 mil­lion. He added that it will cost about $4 mil­lion to clear de­bris and more than $14 mil­lion to re­build the Melville Hall Air­port, one of two in Do­minica.

“Ev­ery piece of equip­ment at the air­port has been de­stroyed be­yond use,” Sk­er­rit said.

The over­all cost to the is­land, which has a GDP of about $500 mil­lion and a pop­u­la­tion of 72,000, is likely to be higher. The pre­lim­i­nary es­ti­mate does not in­clude the cost to re­place 371 homes that were de­stroyed, mostly in the south­east­ern com­mu­nity of Pe­tite Sa­vanne.

A team from the World Bank was in the coun­try con­duct­ing a more de­tailed dam­age as­sess­ment but it has not yet been re­leased.

Guy Joseph dis­plays his role on the

cat­walk.

Do­minic Fedee, a UWP hope­ful at the up­com­ing gen­eral elec­tions,

es­corts a model.

Do­minica be­gins the mon­u­men­tal task of re­build­ing

af­ter Trop­i­cal Storm Erika.

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