The first contingent of the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) has been dispatched to the Bahamas following the passage of hurricane Dorian.
The Government of Jamaica will provide support to the Government of the Bahamas by way of the deployment of the Jamaica Defence Force soldiers from DART.
The first group left the island today (September 5).
Speaking at a press conference today, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said, Jamaica will receive assistance in transporting the members of DART from the Royal Canadian Air Force.
“They will be airlifted for us in partnership with our friends – our Canadian friends, they will be airlifting both men and equipment. So, Jamaica will have a presence in the Bahamas, and we will be at the disposal of the Bahamian Government if they require any further assistance,” stated Prime Minister Holness.
The Prime Minister also noted that he has been in direct contact with the Hon. Hubert Minnis, Prime Minister of the Bahamas for updates.
“Just before and during the hurricane, I’ve been in direct contact with Prime Minister Minnis of the Bahamas and he has given me an update on the situation in the islands that have been affected. You would have seen in the media that those islands that are affected, that the devastation is extensive,” said Prime Minister Holness.
In that regard, Prime Minister Holness noted that Jamaica has been working closely with partner nations on the ground in the Bahamas.
In the meantime, the DART will assist in several key areas which include:
1. The construction of temporary accommodation
2. The establishment of relief distribution areas.
3. Aid convoy security
4. Clearing of distribution routes
5. Key point protection
6. Security Tasks as requested by the host country
7. The re-establishment of power supply
The DART will be deployed to the Bahamas for an initial period of 30 days.