One year ago, on 1 September 2019, Hurricane Dorian reached peak intensity over the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas – causing mass devastation, loss of life, and destroying homes and businesses across the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama. It was the most intense tropical cyclone on record to ever strike the Bahamas, left 70 dead and a further 282 missing.
Thanks to your generosity, emergency support was able to reach those who needed it most. All We Can, together with the Methodist Church in Britain launched an emergency response which helped the most vulnerable access vital food supplies, and establish safe water points for communities after many were contaminated by floodwater. In recent months, this response has also helped more than 500 households evacuated on to neighbouring islands in the Bahamas, in addition to those who have returned to their communities, through the provision of food and toiletries support, short-term rental assistance and hurricane preparedness kits as they seek to rebuild their lives. Below, we hear from three people who were supported through the Emergency Bahamas Hurricane Appeal.
‘I have never experienced a storm like that before and hope never to experience one like it ever again.’
Eric has lived in Grand Bahama for most of his life. When the hurricane struck, he decided to ride the storm out in his home. He watched in terror as the flood waters entered his home, and climbed on tables and chairs to save his life as the water reached above his bed.
Thanks to your support, Eric was able to receive emergency groceries in the wake of the hurricane as his own fridge and store cupboards were destroyed.
‘Words cannot express how much I appreciate all that I have received. I feel blessed, and pray God’s continued blessing upon you.’ – Eric
Spurgeon was Postmaster General in Grand Bahama for many years, until his retirement. When he heard news of Hurricane Dorian, he sought shelter – but they had already flooded. He took refuge in a church, and watched in horror as waters rose steadily higher.
When the storm has passed, he returned home to find his house and possessions damaged or destroyed. He is currently living with a relative until his home can be repaired. Through this difficult time, the emergency food provided through your generosity has been a lifeline.
‘The food that has been provided continuously over the last several months made life much easier for me.’ – Spurgeon
When the Hurricane threatened to strike Samdaye’s home in Abaco, she knew he had to protect her three children. As houses on her street became seriously damaged, she decided to flee to her local library – but found it overcrowded. Thankfully, she was able to be evacuated via aeroplane to a neighbouring island.
Life remains difficult for Samdaye – her son has lost his job following the hurricane, and she is unable to return to her home in Abaco. Despite this, Samdaye remains thankful for the support she received in the form of emergency food supplies in the months following the hurricane.
‘God has truly made a way out of no way, and I am trusting Him to provide’ – Samdaye
Thank you for being there when communities needed you most. Please continue to hold communities in the Bahamas in your prayers, as they continue to walk the long road to recovery following Hurricane Dorian.
With thanks to the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and Americas for the images of Eric, Spurgeon and Samdaye.