Dominica Emergency Communication Center Wotten Waven





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Published on Mar 10, 2019

Dominica Emergency Communication Center Wotten Waven
Foundation for Amateur International Radio Service
READ TEXT BELOW FOR FULL REPORT ON EOC http://www.fairs.org F AIRS 29th trip to Dominica! February 2019

FAIRS has been traveling to Dominica for 22 years – time flies! Over the years we have seen so many changes down there. For many years Dominica was a British colony but in 1967 they decided they wanted to become Independent!

In September 2017 Hurricane Maria hit the Island and totally devastated it. The Hurricane winds were relentless and took almost all of the “green” from the Island and left it bare. Most of the Island was without power for months and even now many areas don't have running water. The folks we work with in Castle Bruce don't have water and have to walk to the river to transport water home! Many of the homes are still without roofs and still have tarps covering them. The roads were severely damaged because Dominica is a volcanic mountainous Island and with the vegetation holding the soil on the mountains – every time they get high amounts of rain, since the mountains have nothing holding the soil, they erode and slide off the mountains and take the roads out. In fact, the little Village of Wotten Waven where we live while in Dominica, has a slide off the mountain and the main road to the village has been totally destroyed and not passable. The folks in the village have to use a longer alternate way to get out of the village.

We had tickets to travel to Dominica in January of 2018, however after Hurricane Maria, our tickets were canceled so we delayed our trip and started sending needed supplies down there. Since the Hurricane, we have sent many shipments to Dominica – immediately after the Hurricane we sent 2 shipments of solar chargers and many handheld radios for the operators on the Island. The Hurricane made such a huge impact on the folks down there – since then they have held classes and licensed more than 40 new Amateur Radio Operators!

Last year after the Hurricane, our Church – Floyd United Methodist again did a collection for Dominica and on Palm Sunday the children came in carrying the Palm branches and donated items for the folks in Dominica and placed them on the altar to be blessed. Again this year, our Church will be doing a collection for Dominica and the collection will be blessed on Palm Sunday. We are still doing shipments almost monthly to Dominica.

Dave and I traveled to Dominica in February of this year and before we left for Dominica, Sara at Floyd Jewelry called me and said she'd like to help with collecting items to be shipped and I know the collection was a wonderful blessing for the folks down there. Also, CVS Pharmacy called me and said they had heard we were returning to Dominica and they also donated much needed items for the mission trip down there. We shipped all the items down there and when we arrived they were waiting for us at the port.

Several months before our trip, we got a call from Clement Pierre Louis J73CPL – we live with he and his wife Hetty while in Dominica – and he informed us that after the devastation cause by Maria, he'd put in a request to the Government for help with setting up an Disaster Communication Center in the little Village of Wotten Waven which is up on the mountain just 4 miles from the Capital Roseau. He was so excited when he called us and said his request had been fulfilled and he asked Dave to order all the equipment needed to set the Center up. Dave ordered the radios, antennas, coax, cable, etc. We were able to get the equipment and needed supplies shipped and we got them out when we arrived in Dominica. Dave and a number of Amateur Radio operators from there in Dominica were able to get the solar system and the Radio station set up!

When I attended Hamvention last May, I was approached by Steve Deines of Alpha Antenna about our work in Dominica. Just after Hamvention, FAIRS received the wonderful donation of the Alpha Antenna which we were able to ship to Dominica and when the Communication Center was set up in Wotten Waven they were able to use the Alpha Antenna there.

Dave has been working on securing more much needed equipment for the Island and we will make another shipment to Dominica soon. We will do the humanitarian shipment collected by the Church after Easter.

Thanks to all of our loyal members and friends of FAIRS for your continued help with these projects.

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