More than 11,000 pounds of relief and aid and essential supplies have been airlifted from Grand Cayman to Guanaja, Bay Islands, Honduras, in response to a devastating fire on Bonnaca Cay earlier this month.
Premier Hon. G. Wayne Panton spearheaded efforts to collect needed goods and dedicate a Cayman Airways cargo flight for today’s trip.
“As you know, Caymanians maintain a close kinship and strong cultural links with the Bay Islands as many Bay Islanders and Caymanians share a common heritage and multiple family ties,” Mr. Panton said. “When the news of this tragedy became known to us, we immediately began discussion a plan of action to assist.”
Mr. Panton said the Cayman community has been generous with much of the aid coming from individuals and corporate entities.
“I was touched at the outpouring of love and care for the Bay Islanders by our people and those who call the Cayman Islands home,” Mr. Panton said. “As the Cayman Islands community is known to do, we sprang into action to collect aid through our churches, service clubs, businesses and individuals. The support has been not only encouraging, but overwhelming. I thank everyone for their assistance.”
According to data compiled by the land registry office of the Guanaja mayor's office, the fire damaged some 270 houses in which more than 2,500 people live, equivalent to 35 per cent of the population of the municipal seat.
The flight today was to take urgent and immediate recovery needs such as food, personal hygiene products, mattresses and linens, baby supplies and debris cleaning equipment to Guanaja.
“As Minister for Tourism I was happy that we could rely on our national carrier, Cayman Airways to assist in this critical mission,” said Tourism Minister Hon. Kenneth Bryan. “Once again Cayman Airways has shown its importance not only to the Cayman Islands but to our friends and neighbours in the region.”
Other non-governmental organisations and businesses in our own community are also making arrangements for a future shipment of recovery needs.
“I commend Governor Dino Silvestri for reaching out to us after I made the announcement that Cayman would be offering help and for his dedication to the people of the Bay islands in working alongside them to rebuild the Cay,” Mr. Panton said. “We will continue to support in their recovery in any way that we can.”
By the Premier's Office