Fri | Sep 20, 2019

Blair urges churches to join Bahamas relief effort

Published:Tuesday | September 10, 2019 | 12:21 AMJudana Murphy/Gleaner Writer
Synobia Reckley pauses on a wet mattress on Sunday as her husband, Dexter Edwards, consoles her amid the remains of their home, which was destroyed by Hurricane Dorian in Rocky Creek East End, Grand Bahama, The Bahamas.
Synobia Reckley pauses on a wet mattress on Sunday as her husband, Dexter Edwards, consoles her amid the remains of their home, which was destroyed by Hurricane Dorian in Rocky Creek East End, Grand Bahama, The Bahamas.

As relief efforts continue in hurricane-ravaged Bahamas, Faith Cathedral Deliverance Centre on Waltham Park Road in St Andrew has initiated a drive that it hopes will expand to a national scale.

Bishop Herro Blair said that during their church service on Sunday, the congregation was urged to make financial donations to assist The Bahamas in recovering from the Category Five Hurricane Dorian, which devastated the country last week.

“Our church has decided to give at least half a million dollars, and we are pretty close. We raised over $300,000 in our service yesterday,” Blair told The Gleaner yesterday.

Blair said the Church has a role to play in assisting The Bahamas.

“I would like to see a national effort on this, considering that we are equally vulnerable ... . We are encouraging all the churches across Jamaica to do this and make a special contribution to this fund, and we will ask leaders of the church, where possible, to give oversight for the distribution,” he said.

Blair has also urged members of his congregation to be willing to open up their doors and arms to Bahamians for a period of three to six months, should they request accommodation on Jamaican shores.

Following concerns about an outbreak of diseases, the Bahamian Ministry of Health and the Pan American Health Organization have advised that no island in The Bahamas is under quarantine.

“Floods can potentially increase the transmission of water-borne and communicable diseases. Nevertheless, there have not been any detected cholera cases at the moment, nor any increased number of infectious diseases due to the hurricane,” they said in a joint statement.

At least 4,500 people have been evacuated from Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama following the passage of Hurricane Dorian. The death toll, which stands at 45, is expected to increase.

On Saturday, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper confirmed that the storm had killed two persons in the state when it made landfall there.

judana.murphy@gleanerjm.com