Reggae musician Taj Weekes has made an appeal to the international community for disaster relief for the island of St. Lucia. The Caribbean island country was hit by Hurricane Tomas last weekend, causing widespread destruction.
St. Lucia’s Prime Minister Stephenson King declared a state of emergency yesterday, appealing for international help for St. Lucia’s worst national disaster in recent history. Lives have been lost and many more are still missing.
The southern town of Soufriere and its neighbor Fond St. Jacques, near the landmark Pitons, have been hit the worst by the storm and many say the towns resemble a war zone. All roads to the area have been washed out and they are cut off from aid, supplies, electricity and water.
Other areas have experienced massive land and mudslides, floods, sinkholes, roads and bridges washed away. The island’s fresh water supplies have been contaminated by mud and other pollutants creating an extremely serious lack of fresh water, which will have to be brought in from other islands and countries. Relief shelters are full and in dire need of supplies.
“To all those who are able to share even a little bit with those less fortunate than yourself, please join me in sending down relief supplies to our friends in St. Lucia,” said Taj Weekes. “Through our last several visits with They Often Cry Outreach (TOCO), I have had the opportunity to come to know Valerie Albert of HTS channel 4, the wonderful youth of ICAN (youth group) in Soufriere and RISE in Castries and their impeccable leaders, Dr. Stephen King and Dr. Jacqueline Bird. We will be working in conjunction with Dr. King, Dr. Bird and Ms. Albert to ensure relief dollars and supplies are put to good use.”
“We are collecting donations, water and non-perishable food items to ship to St. Lucia in barrels next week. The most useful donations are monetary so that necessary items can be purchased as the needs of the displaced St. Lucians are determined. Please be as generous as you can in helping those that are without the basic human needs right now.”
They Often Cry Outreach (TOCO) is a 501(c)(3) U.S.-based not-for-profit organization founded by St. Lucian reggae artist Taj Weekes and is dedicated to improving the lives of underprivileged, at-risk and orphaned children in the Caribbean through sports, health and enrichment programs.