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RRL urgently seeking batteries for emergency communications stations

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Editor: It can be said that from a human resource standpoint, the Rainbow Radio League (RRL) is ready to respond to the communications needs of our beloved country, but work without adequate tools makes the job that more difficult.

Straight to the point, there is a communications network in St Vincent and the Grenadines, some of it installed and maintained by the RRL, while the others, through NEMO, are seldom serviced following the initial contractual service period, which was never renewed.{{more}} However, through the good nature of RRL members, some, not all of these communications stations are periodically checked and notice given to NEMO about the state of these stations.

The most urgent need at ALL locations is batteries. Although these radios can work from a regulated power supply plugged into the mains, when domestic power fails, there NEEDS to be an independent source of energy so that emergency messages can be transmitted, if and when required. That is the hallmark of an emergency communications (Emcoms) network, the ability to keep ‘on the air’ when it really matters.

The RRL has approached CCA in Canouan to source two batteries, one of which will be placed at the Emcoms station located at the main shelter in Canouan; the other is for the Union Island Health Centre, but nothing has yet materialized. But the NEED is for many, many more batteries. The RRL has several volunteer members (the RRL is a non-profit, community service organization) who own equipment, but who do not currently have proper battery banks due to the cost of proper batteries. There are also several clinics and emergency shelters which have equipment, but no adequate storage capacity, despite the fact that most of these locations have solar panels to recharge the batteries if Vinlec power is not available. Maybe we can get Vinlec, CCA and others to provide batteries for all the Emcoms stations in SVG.

Help is urgently needed. In the past, we got help through CIDA, and local business houses, but batteries only have a limited life span once put into service. Battery technology has changed for the better in recent years, with the advent of electric vehicles and the move to ‘green’ energy, but at this time the new technology is still a bit pricey, but when it comes to saving lives, no cost is too great, that is why we are making an appeal to everyone who can help to make a good thing better, and to prevent an ailing system from dying through the lack of a battery.

Please direct your intention to assist to the following email: rainbow_radio_league@yahoo.com with the subject: Batteries for Emcoms network. We can also be contacted via whatsapp at 1 784 530 1206.

Donald De Riggs

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