PLAINFIELD, NJ - Conrad Linton and Farah Pidgeon, a couple in the Netherwood Heights section of Plainfield, are on a mission to help family, friends and residents of the tiny Caribbean island of Dominica that was devastated by Category 5 Hurricane Maria last week.
The Commonwealth of Dominica, the Nature Island of the Caribbean, is made up of tropical rain forests and natural springs, with a population of just 72,000. The eye of Maria made landfall, killing fifteen people, and destroying homes and infrastructure. According to the country's Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, "the desolation is beyond imagination."
Skerrit addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday, Sept. 23rd to highlight the devastation, and to impress upon world leaders how much help his country and other Caribbean nations need now, and moving into the future to rebuild.
In his speech he said, "Mr. President, we dug graves today in Dominica. We buried loved ones yesterday. And I am sure, that as I return home tomorrow, we shall discover additional fatalities as a consequence of this encounter. Our homes are flattened, our buildings roofless, our water pipes smashed and road infrastructure destroyed. Our hospital is without power, and schools have disappeared beneath the rubble. Our crops are uprooted; where there was green there is now only dust and dirt."
He had also noted, "the battle we face has brought us to our knees. We need resources now so that we may move with purpose to the task of rebuilding our beautiful island home. We will literally build homes and villages. We will literally build communities, schools, roads and bridges. We will literally build a country and we cannot do it alone. Above all else, Mr. President and members of this body, we need you. We need your humanity, and we need you now to act truly as our United Nations.”
Here in Plainfield, Linton and Pidgeon, thanks to some generous friends and neighbors, have already been able to purchase generators, water purifiers, tarps, plus many other vital items. These items will be placed in barrels, and the filled barrels will be packed into a shipping crate, travel to Miami, and then be transferred to Dominica. There is no international airport on the island, so the goods will be transported via ship.
Once emptied, the barrels can be transformed into rain barrels to capture fresh, clean water.
So much more is needed, Pidgeon said, and she and Linton are asking for your help. A GoFundMe page has been created to collect funds that will go towards purchasing additional necessities, including:
- Non-perishable food items
- Water pumps and water purification tablets
- Medical supplies, bandages, and first aid kits
- Lanterns and flashlights
- Feminine hygiene products
- Bug spray
- Inverters and batteries
The couple says no donation is too small, and ask you to share their story, even if you are unable to contribute financially.
The devastation of the island can be seen in a video entitled A walk from Castle Comfort to Roseau the day after Hurricane Maria. Roseau is the capital of Dominica.