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Caribbean Disaster Mitigation and Community Empowerment Initiative UNITED CARIBBEAN - Grenada's north east coast

The ride to Soubise was backbreaking and merciless as the channel was choppy and one felt every trough.

The place itself was devastated; the debris is very much evident; there is a boat in the street where it was carried by the storm surge and residents are very low-spirited and starving for food and relief supplies.

According to one mother of nine children, it is very hard and she is trying not to be depressed. She is not so worried about the loss of all of her household effects, nor too much by living in a galvanized tarpaulin box by the side of the road.
Her worry is for her daughters who are very good students because they cannot attend school and no one can advise them as to how they will be able to continue their schooling..
She told us everything, all the books, the computer the washing machine were all destroyed by the waves that were so tremendous they overwhelmed the homes beachside and her husband showed us the radio equipment from his boat which is not only water damaged but now rusting from the salt.
He has supported his family from the sea for 31 years and “…all for nought"
WE tried our best to comfort these folk who appear to be so deep in depression it is hard to get thorough to them, but a bright spark came when a shell on the ground caught my attention; her husband had brought it for her, having found it in his net.


She handed me the shell and said she wanted to gift me with it, because she felt she still had something to give, to her family and her community. These are the ones who have started their own clean-up process.


She also gave us a bottle of water to be analyzed as she got violently ill drinking it, despite boiling.

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Jenny tackled the shelter of 25 persons who are in such a state of desolation that it brought tears to ones eyes.
An old service garage, roofless and graffiti scarred, is what these families now call home. It is as clean as can be expected; neat however and individual space cordoned off by sheets and tarpaulin scraps

There are 5 babies under 1 year, 10 children under 10 and 10 adults, 2 of these pregnant women, both due to deliver in November 2004. THEY HAVE LOST IT ALL!

The children are haunted, their dark beautiful eyes tragic in emaciated faces; they were quick to grin when we gave them a few sweets and the cans we brought will make a communal pot.
They were very grateful for the rice, which will ‘increase’ so until more supplies can be had, they will make it work for as many as possible. Others in the community are sharing what they can and one old man is very angry because the road to them is reasonably clear.
The spirits in the community however are at low ebb and this despair is the main cause of their slowness to recovery. The exhortations to clean up debris and get rid of the garbage is hampered by the sheer enormity of the task as uprooted trees and the sheer volume of garbage testify to the full impact of Ivan’s fury.

.Ivan devastation

They got the first hit, so far Southeast, and took the full brunt of wind and wave. The footage is dreary and dark, especially as the light was fading as we left. But there always comes the morning… and they will rebuild. The ride back was as merciless as the ride in and we left Subise at dusk, to a beautiful sunset and cloudless sky. The chop got worse as we crossed the channel to Carriacou but it was worth the trip, however, as though we recorded a litany of woes there is hope for respite.

Friday 24, September-2004 by AMANDA LYNCH-FOSTER in Grenada

SOUBISE used to be like any other pretty little Caribbean fishing village by the sea.

It had rows of quaint, colourful chattel houses right on the golden-sand beach, the aquamarine Caribbean sea swishing gently in the background and fishing boats bobbing on the waves or pulled up on the shore, dotting the landscape with bright colours. < Read more >

A prayer for Soubise

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