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Dominicans Say Desperation Forcing Them to Loot



The signs of despair and distress brought on by hunger and thirst are everywhere in the Dominican capital, Roseau, as the very basic instincts of a people still in a trance from the battering they took from Hurricane Maria a week ago, kick in.

There is hardly any drinking water in the land of 365 rivers, not much to eat and hardly anywhere to stay.

As a Barbados TODAY team made our way across the city laid to waste by the category five storm, we encountered grown men who were brought to tears by the very thought of their hellish situation.

A group of men and women could be seen in search of anything they could get their hands on. And when they found something, they took it with a certain degree of remorse.

“We loot because we have no choice,” an upfront Martin Dale said.

“It is all hell. I have been crying for days . . . I have been looting food, I have no choice. It is a hard time . . . man, we don’t have not even water. Help us, please,” he said.

Within eyeshot another man was seen running with what turned out to be disposable nappies.

He had a baby, he said, and he could not help but to help himself to the things he needed to take care of the child, while he continued to search for the remaining members of his family.

“I just need pampers . . . I just need formula for my baby . . . . I don’t have anything . . . . The rest of my family, I can’t find them . . . they probably dead,” he said, while the faint sound of a police siren was heard in the background.

Another man, who identified himself only as Charlie, simply wanted some water, which we gave him from our supply.

He was thankful, claiming that there were people out there seeking to profit from the country’s thirst.

“I have been asking for water from the people and they not giving us. They telling us we have to pay for it. A man on the back of a truck just passed telling us a case cost 40 something dollars or more. We have to loot to take home water, food. ”

Along the Dame Mary Eugenia Charles Boulevard and adjoining streets the picture was one of utter devastation.

A vehicle flipped on its roof, debris, tree trunks and cars strewn across the road told the story of the impact of Hurricane Maria, which is now known to have killed 27 people, with at least an equal number still missing.

In between there were people running with bags, while others simply walked with the few belongings they had left.

“We have a lot of work to do to bring the country back. This is a very [messed up] disaster right now. There have been no supplies or anything being distributed. It is madness,” one woman shouted as we made our way to the site of the Visitor Information Bureau and Craft Centre.

The many stalls that were once part of the thriving business area where tourist coming off cruise ships at the Roseau cruise ship berth bargained for souvenirs, were left in shambles.

Over at the well-known Fort Young Hotel, Florida native Jim Wyss said Maria was unlike anything he had ever experienced.

Wyss had left the US to escape Hurricane Irma, which was headed to the American mainland after inflicting its own destruction on the Caribbean, only to be confronted by Maria in Dominica.

Another hotel guest was Barbadian economist Jeremy Stephen, who was scheduled to speak at a seminar there, but was instead trapped in Roseau after regional carrier LIAT cancelled flights out of the country ahead of the storm.

“When the rain and the winds came, it was terrible. The roof on the floor above me went so my room flooded, so it was a choice I had to make – stay in the room or drown. I couldn’t get out . . . but the maintenance guys came. I don’t know how they knew I was there . . . they must have seen the light from my phone but they came and rescued me. Thank God for them.

“They took me and some others to the VIP room which was said to be sturdy but with the rain and wind that was happening, that crashed down on us as well. So, we had to leave there. It was like if you were one of the characters in the Call of Duty video game. You had to be dodging and slipping out at strategic time,” Stephen recounted.

A traumatized Stephen recalled the looting – of the goods the looters would probably never get to use and, later, of the bare necessities of life.

“As I stand here today . . . people are now resorting to finding water. It is very scarce here in Dominica. People are hungry. Many of them don’t have a roof above their heads. Everybody in Dominica has been impacted by this thing. Everybody,” a sullen Stephen said. (Reproduced from Barbados Today)

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Comment by Henry on October 8, 2017 at 12:36am

This is not really a time to debate, but be tangible in our giving. This could be us.  therefore, these disasters should bring out the best of our humanity. 

Comment by mr1stroke on September 27, 2017 at 11:31pm
CobraFire may be you want to read again, there is a difference between talking about and use as an example, pay attention to detial
Comment by CobraFire on September 27, 2017 at 9:51pm

yO YOYO! WHY we talking about Haiti Yo? I thought it was Dominica that  got hit yo,not Haiti.Damn! We need to get things right man. We need everyone to pull together and help this poor little island. did you'all see the devastatio? It's worse than Puerto Rico. The people need food and water. . We better start praying that this hurricane thing don't reach our doorsteps, man.. You'all remember Sandy that wrecked Breezy-Point in Brooklyn. That could happen again if you don't start sending food and water to those poor souls in Dominica. 

Comment by mr1stroke on September 27, 2017 at 7:26pm

Konrad im good how have you been, yes i feel the same way, but this time it is so critical there is no way to give directly to the people every where is destroy since all eyes are in the redcross i assume they are doing right by the people, with haiti no one expect the red cross and clinton to steal on that money and for the haitian people to just stood and watch them do so, so i feel i have to give to someone who may be able to help, and yes just because you have a receipt you dont have to claim taxes unless needed

Comment by Konrad on September 27, 2017 at 7:19pm
Mr1stroke what's up brother, I don't trust the Red cross since the whole Haiti issue. I would rather donate to the cause and have the proceeds meet or exceed the needs of those who truly in deed are in need than to have a receipt to claim on my taxes while the recipient pocket all or the lion's share, yet they have no needs.
Comment by mr1stroke on September 27, 2017 at 5:28pm

and i say to all who keep saying pray for the people, i have a better idea, sell everything you got, and give away everything you have to the people, than pray for your self so you can get everything back, since you believe everything must be done with prayer, you damn idiots, prayer is a tool to give you srenght and guidance to complete your mission, God never said sit your ass down and everything will happen for you, if thats the case why do all of you who goes to church and believe in God to work, some of you even skip church on sundays to go to work, wait i guess you dont believe in prayer that much, and how come when peter was fishing, Jesus prayed and tell him to try again, how come when the people did not have enough bread and fish to feed every one Jesus prayed and multiply the food in order to have enough, how come Jesus had to have water to make wine, you damn idiots stop reading your bible upside down and help those people, you are so proud to be caribbean, you people brag about how successful you are but cant open your wallet, I always said those who comes on here to brag are a bunch of fraud, you are lonely and so not important so you have to brag about the life you wish in order to feel important online but you dont ask your self, why should we care or believe you, now how about you post the receipt of your donation, if where you donate is legit like red cross you will get a receipt for tax purposes, damn smart idiots

Comment by mr1stroke on September 27, 2017 at 5:20pm

Dave yes, many people dont understand that, no real man will stand around and watch their kids and love ones, starve to death, no real mothers will watch their kids go hungry, and those are the people i stand with no matter what they do, sometimes we have to make the wrong decisions to make things right, but those who scared and stand like a coward will make excuses why they cant, the first thing they will say pray for the people lol damn idiots

Comment by Dave on September 27, 2017 at 4:52pm
A hungry family makes a man dangerous.
Comment by Konrad on September 27, 2017 at 4:23pm
Water is and will always be our number one priority...clean drinking water to be more specific.
Comment by mr1stroke on September 27, 2017 at 3:50pm
The Bible tell you all of that, if you understand what you read realize many passages in the Bible are prediction and warning of the unfortunate events that will take place, in Somalia people getting kill over water, because its hard to dig a well due to dry land and this is just a beginning

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