Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: disaster in the paradise 🇻🇨
Peter's Hope, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, August 2021
April 2021 brought a major stress to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG). The explosion of the Soufrière Volcano in the north of Saint Vincent island has caused major destruction of homes and infrastructure and resulted with over 20,000 being evacuated to the south of the island, as well as neighbouring Saint Lucia and Barbados.
While, 20,000 may not be the staggering (however substantial), when taking into consideration that the whole nation's population is around 120,000 people, then the scale of the disaster appears very differently: indeed, for the small country as SVG, it is an absolute cataclysm, especially as the volcano erupted in the middle of COVID-19 pandemic.
Many of the agencies from within SVG as well as international agencies responded to the humanitarian needs as fast as possible, opening evacuation centres, helping the people cope, and later assisting in rebuilding and recovery.
My August mission to SVG was to meet the partners that my organisation worked with, and see whether the resources are used well and what still needs to be done to make things a bit easier for the survivors.
The visit to SVG proved to be challenging though. Many of the visible scars after the explosion have been already cleared and things have been tidied up. Instead, I met the paradise-like environment, with blue ocean, gold-sand beaches, green tropical forrest. After my initial 7 days of obligatory quarantine, the weekend came and I had a chance to explore Saint Vincent in places, where one could not notice the devastating effects of the recent catastrophe. This made the mission difficult and challenging, even though, after some days, I started appreciating the scale of the problems when talking to the officials, first responders and the survivors themselves.
This gallery is an account of my visit to SVG: appreciating its beauty but also documenting my visit to partners' projects and meeting the survivors.
I hope, you will enjoy the pictures! Please click here to access the gallery…