Donations being made at Fox Hill Community Centre. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff
By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
AS relief supplies continue to pour in from organisations and individuals overseas, Senator Kay Forbes-Smith stressed that the National Emergency Management Agency is inspecting all donated hurricane relief supplies and aid before distribution in Grand Bahama.
The senator, who is the government appointed coordinator for relief efforts in Grand Bahama, said NEMA has set up a warehouse in Freeport to receive shipments of donated food, water and other supplies intended for the island.
"Our goal is to establish at least two more warehouses in the coming days. It is imperative that we do our absolute best to process the supplies and aid in a very efficient manner," she said.
"Supplies, such as food and water, in a warehouse do us no good unless we can quickly get them inspected, sorted and packaged for delivery or pick up."
Senator Forbes-Smith said local officials have asked the US Coast Guard and the United Nations' Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, or OCHA, to help by providing experts in logistics, warehouse management and distribution.
"We believe this will greatly improve the NEMA-GB operation and the process of receiving and distributing aid on our island even more efficiently," she said.
The NEMA Grand Bahama team is working hand-in-hand with dozens of volunteer organisations and NGOs such as St Maarten-based K1 Direct, faith-based organisations such as Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and the local Grand Bahama Christian Council headed by Pastor Robert Lockhart, and many others who distribute food, water, medical care and other necessities directly to the communities most affected.
Ms Forbes-Smith said that the outpouring of generosity and caring has been, and continues to be, truly remarkable.