A shipping container full of essential items provided by maritime firms in Liverpool city region is now on its way to people left stricken by the St Vincent volcano eruption. Tony McDonough reports
Maritime firms from across Liverpool city region have come together to fill a shipping container with vital supplies for those left stricken by the eruption of a volcano in the Caribbean island of St Vincent.
There was a major eruption of La Soufrière in St Vincent and the Grenadines on April 9. Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes and their plight has triggered an urgent relief effort.
Many people are staying in official Government shelters and officials fear the threat of the spread of COVID-19 is complicating an already fraught situation. An urgent appeal for help has gone out across the world.
Merseyside businessman Garth Dallas, chair of the Liverpool Commonwealth Association, asked for the businesses across Merseyside to support the relief effort. And the city region’s £4bn maritime sector has responded magnificently.
A container supplied by Mersey Maritime laden with donations of vital goods has departed the Port of Liverpool where it will be transported onto the Caribbean with the help of Liverpool-based Denholm Logistics and Peel Ports Group.
Mark Whitworth, chief executive of Peel Ports, said: “The crisis in St Vincent comes at a time when the world is already shaken. Our thoughts are with the many people who have been impacted by the tragic events and we stand with the wider Liverpool city region in helping to provide aid for the families and individuals who are trying to rebuild and recover from the destruction.”
Chris Shirling-Rooke, chief executive of Mersey Maritime, added: “Our Caribbean and greater Commonwealth family are a vital part of this country’s lifeline with tens of thousands working as seafarers all over the world.
The container, which is now midway across the Atlantic, has been filled with donations of vital goods such as medical supplies from Kays Medical and Peel Ports Group, as blankets, baby clothes, tinned food, PPE, mattresses, powdered milk, sanitisation products and many other items.
“As soon as Garth approached us about the volcanic eruption on St Vincent we knew we had to offer our support. And the response from our hundreds of members, Peel Ports, Denholm Logistics, Kays Medical, Armitt Group, DGB Solicitors and NYAS to name a few, has been fantastic” .Mr Shirling-Rooke added
Garth Dallas also said: “It is at times such as this, when some of our most vulnerable small island states have been affected by immense suffering and disruption, that Commonwealth solidarity and support are most needed and most valued.
“We are pleased that again we are able to support our Commonwealth family in St Vincent and the Grenadines, and proud of our relationship with Mersey Maritime and their members.”