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Basic needs come first
"The horticultural sector is not all that matters"
Many reports have been published on the damage caused by hurricanes and other natural disasters, and will continue to be published. Because we work in this sector, we prefer to keep abreast of what is happening in horticulture, but Derrick Lugo, from Imex Americas, in Puerto Rico, wanted to share with us the situation on the island. Derrick tells us that Puerto Rico has been devastated and that they are working very hard to cover their basic needs and repair the infrastructure necessary for the island to return to normal operation. "We are trying to give everyone access to running water and petrol; however, whatever we pursue involves a huge effort. About 85% of the island has no means of communication, the power grid has failed in almost the entire island and most of the population lacks running water."
There is food and fuel in the port, although the logistics complicate the situation. "There are no drivers to transport these goods to the points of sale, and there are no communications to coordinate drivers. Moreover, getting diesel for trucks is almost impossible. All this makes the situation even tought. It's been over a week since the storm and there are still many people who need help. The United States Government has sent troops to provide assistance and more are on the way. I hope they can help us soon."
On another island, the Dominican Republic, the situation is totally different. Although it has suffered two hurricanes, not every part of the island is devastated and there is still work underway. Raúl Reyes, of the export company AMR Agro, explains that most of the coast has been hit by the wind. "For example, the production of coconuts will be affected in the coming weeks, maybe months."
He goes on to say that both the north-east and the north-west have suffered floods. "Bananas, plantains, rice and vegetables are produced in these areas. No official figures have yet been reported, but the damage will be severe. We have to continue exporting, which is possible, and for now we have not suffered shortages of the products with which we work. We may have some problems with the coconuts in the near future due to the impact of the weather."
Publication date: 10/3/2017
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