mud-caked kitchen

Stepping into the mud-caked home of Guiste Joseph, you begin to get an idea of the personal toll the recent hurricanes have wrought in the Caribbean.

“I cry a lot every day,” says the 77-year-old. “This is the second time I have seen a storm like this in my life. But this one was much worse.”

77-year-old Guiste Joseph
A week after Hurricane Maria struck the island of Dominica, people are slowly beginning to rebuild their lives here.

Trevor Jean Baptiste, 45, and his one-year-old son Kamal stand outside
Trevor Jean Baptiste, 45, and his one-year-old son Kamal, are among those to have returned home.

During the hurricane, Trevor’s family – including his two-week-old daughter – hid under the stairs. They have lost both their home and the family business on this street.

carpenter Laurean Charles dismantling fallen tin roofs
At 64, carpenter Laurean Charles is dismantling fallen tin roofs, “just to help”, he says.

The people living in Dominica are doing their best with the clear-up, but it will take a long time. The accumulation of rubbish is another problem.

Colihaut health centre
The doors of the Colihaut health centre have managed to remain open. Despite the shortage of staff, the nurses here are still smiling.

Unsurprisingly, there are a lot of people waiting to see doctors and nurses.

Red Cross volunteer Timaeus Garraway
Volunteer Timaeus Garraway is helping unload the first relief items arriving in Dominica after the hurricane.

Red Cross volunteers and staff offloaded tarpaulins, blankets and items such as nappies and baby milk donated by people on the nearby island of Saint Lucia.

Deliveries of shelter kits and kitchen sets have also arrived in recent days.

Curvelle Lawrence, her three-year-old granddaughter Adira, and boyfriend Bevenski Stavalle
Curvelle Lawrence, her three-year-old granddaughter Adira, and partner Bevenski Stavalle, are some of those to have benefitted from the Red Cross aid distribution.

They have picked up some much-needed tarpaulins from the Dominica Red Cross.

damaged car
Over the past few weeks the Caribbean has been battered by hurricanes. Hurricane Irma left many of the islands barely habitable.

Irma was closely followed by Hurricane Maria, which ripped through these already vulnerable islands.

Local Red Cross volunteers are giving first aid, shelter and water to those affected.

Please donate now to help families who have lost everything. Every pound donated by the public will be matched by the UK Government, up to £3 million.

Photos: Nina Svahn / Finnish Red Cross.

Words: Caroline Haga / IFRC.