From ADRA- 9 September 2019 | Category 5 Hurricane Dorian left families stranded in their homes last week, knee-deep in high-rise water levels, while countless others are left homeless.
“Seventy percent of the islands are covered in water and there’s no way to get to them right now,” said Leonardo Rahming, executive secretary of the South Bahamas Conference and disaster response volunteer for the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) as quoted in a September 5 ADRA press release.
Rahming added that local authorities have asked humanitarian agencies to be on standby as they work to clear debris on the roads and ensure safety is in place before aid can be delivered. Seaports have been closed, and airport clearances are being given only to federal officials and the Coast Guard.
“Water levels are too high on the Abaco islands, so we must wait till the water recedes,” Rahming says. “There is easier access to people on Grand Bahama, and we are working to get provisions to them there.”
Since the September 5 press release, ADRA social media updates have shown that aid is being distributed through the headquarters of the Adventist Church in northern Grand Bahama.
Due to airport and seaport closures, ADRA has established partnerships with Airlink and YachtAid Global to get food and water to access points. ADRA is also working with Rise Against Hunger to provide meals that will be distributed on the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama. In addition to food and water, clothes and shelter materials will also be distributed.
Rahming shared that another challenge is limited warehouse space to store all the items received. “There’s just not much room,” he says.
Local Churches Step in to Help
That hasn’t deterred ADRA volunteers in the Bahamas who were able to work with local authorities to secure a boat in hopes of reaching people in need but are trapped by high waters.
“We’re the only NGO to do this,” says Rahming, “Local Adventist church members have been working around the clock to help. Grocery stores are opened so members are shopping to get items. What’s needed right now are food, water, and medicine.”
Rahming says he encountered an asthmatic who needed help; however, clinics were closed, and medical facilities were running out of medicine.
“The people of Bahamas are a resilient group, but they are hurting because of the devastation,” Rahming says, “I hope the world doesn’t forget the Bahamas and thinks we’ll be okay because we have resources. ADRA has been a great support to us—but the Bahamas still needs ongoing help.”
How You Can Help
Support has been pouring in to help ADRA with aid relief in the Bahamas. Here are a few things that can be done:
Invite your friends and family to support at ADRA.org
Fundraise through Facebook. Go to Facebook.com/fund/joinADRA/, set up a fundraiser for ADRA and share with your friends and family.
Pledge and share your support on other social media platforms, like Twitter and Instagram and include the link to donate at ADRA.org/HurricaneDorian.
If you’re sending a check, please make it payable to ADRA International and write “ADRA Hurricane Dorian Response” in the MEMO. On the tithe envelope in “Other” section, write “ADRA Hurricane Dorian Response.”
Call in at 1-800-424-ADRA (2372)
This press release has been updated by Adventist Today staff using information being released by ADRA via social media.