SVG Embassy in Taiwan lends a helping hand
“Were it not for diplomatic relations established between SVG and Taiwan 40 years ago, this gift could not have been realised”, so, prefacing his remarks, was the director of the Youlou Radio Movement (YRM), Donald De Riggs, who also acts as co-ordinator for the Stoney Ground Neighbourhood Watch Group (SGNWG). He was at the time handing over safety equipment and supplies to both organisations, on Sunday, June 27, 2021, compliments the SVG Embassy in Taiwan.
The safety supplies among other things, include two way radios, solar lanterns for emergency lighting, portable solar panels for charging small devices like tablet computer and cell phones, PPE’s and medical kits. The medical kits were delivered directly to the Ministry of Health by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, while the YRM was responsible for distributing the other devices, mainly radios, to the SGNWG and YRM, states a release from the YRM director.
The SGNWG received UHF FRS radios to enable homeowners to communicate with each other during times of national emergencies like hurricanes, as well for crime prevention / reporting. Initial testing proved 100% efficiency, by all members who received radios. A weekly network is planned to keep members updated about any security issues, while if there is an impending storm, the latest weather information will be shared instantly. Another part of the gift was a solar lantern, which is especially useful during power outages at night. These lanterns can be recharged by their built in mini solar panels, and each household present received a lantern.
The gift for the YRM included programmable two-way radios which are commonly used by radio amateurs (Hams), and 5 watt portable solar panels, which can be used to charge a phone or tablet computer during extended stays outdoors, or if domestic power is lost for an extended period following a natural or manmade disaster. During the handing over
ceremony, radios programmed for the marine frequencies were handed over to three fishermen from Rose Place, including captain Mark Dennie, who got lost due to poor visibility from thick Sahara dust some years ago and ended up in Puerto Rico 11 days later.
Another three radios have been earmarked for fishermen in Mayreau, while three radios will be entrusted to radio operators in Union Island, and another three for Canouan. These will be delivered in early July. Radio operators in Bequia also received the modest gift from Taiwan on Monday, June 28, 2021.
Ambassador Andrea Bowman, and staff of the Embassy of SVG in Taiwan, were responsible for making the negotiations to get these supplies which will better equip Vincentians to prepare for and respond to natural and manmade disasters; and in closing, De Riggs said: “ I’ve been asked by both the SGNWG and the YRM to extend our sincerest gratitude to the business sector of Taiwan for such a wonderful and useful set of gifts which we will cherish and care for, and in particular, Ambassador Bowman who co-ordinated the entire shipment”. Before taking up her diplomatic posting in Taiwan, Ambassador Bowman was an honorary member of the SGNWG. A total of 50 dual band radios were received for radio operators and fishermen, while 25 UHF radios were received for the SGNWG.