The continual eruption of the La Soufrière Volcano in St. Vincent and the Grenadines is wreaking havoc on the lives of residents, many of whom had to evacuate the northern part of the island categorised as the Red Zone.
The entire population is trying to cope with a myriad of issues, from the destruction of property, livestock and crops, the presence of volcanic ash which is dangerous to human health, disruptions in telecommunications services to contaminated water supplies. To this end, the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) has come to the aid of the people of St. Vincent with a donation of bottled water.
Upon liaising closely with Mr. Apollo Knights, the Secretary/Director of the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (NTRC) in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, ECTEL’s Managing Director, Mr. Andrew Millet learned of the urgent need for water.
Mr. Millet says, “ECTEL stands in solidarity with the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the face of the devastating eruptions from La Soufrière volcano. We cannot begin to comprehend the distress they must be feeling, having to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic, and now this natural phenomenon. The matter of further assistance to St. Vincent and the Grenadines will be discussed at the 41 st Meeting of ECTEL’s Council of Ministers scheduled for Thursday 22 nd April 2021.”
The donation of 24 pallets of water departed Saint Lucia on Wednesday, April 14 th and arrived in St. Vincent on Friday, April 16 th . Distribution to those most in need will be undertaken by the local NTRC, under the direction of Mr. Knights.
Considering the UWI Seismic Research Centre’s expectation that St. Vincent and the Grenadines will face regular eruptions of La Soufrière and ash fall over the coming weeks, ECTEL, through its Board of Directors and Council of Ministers, is committed to supporting the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in its recovery and rehabilitation efforts.
ECTEL is the regulatory body advising the NTRCs on Electronic Communications/Telecommunications matters in its five member states of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.