Project Summary: Hurricane Ivan
The island’s Meteorological Centres were severely damaged after Hurricane Ivan in 2004. The Digicel Foundation through the Office of National Reconstruction repaired the buildings and upgraded the equipment. This included the expansion of the weather station at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston which serves to forecast weather conditions in the island.
Digicel commits millions towards hurricane relief
Jamaica Gleaner – Thursday, September 16th 2004
IN SUPPORT of relief efforts after the destruction wreaked on the island of Jamaica by Hurricane Ivan, Digicel announced that it is committing $200 million towards the national recovery fund. The donation is an advance allocation from the Digicel Foundation, which is due to be launched formally in the coming weeks.
The Digicel Foundation is a non-profit organisation that will distribute and utilise funds on a charitable basis for the sole purpose of building and developing communities across Jamaica. A commitment letter from Digicel was presented on Tuesday at Jamaica House to Prime Minister P.J. Patterson by Group CEO, Seamus Lynch.
According to Harry Smith, commercial director of Digicel Jamaica and chairman of the Digicel Foundation, "As a local company, it is our duty to support the rebuilding efforts now under way as a result of the damage caused by Hurricane Ivan. With the imminent launch of Digicel Jamaica Foundation we are grateful to be in a position to help during this time of need.
"The foundation has been established with the vision of building stronger self-sufficient communities, so it is very appropriate that the money will be well spent in ensuring that Jamaica emerges even stronger after Ivan, and undeterred from its current road of progress," he added.
Digicel Jamaica CEO, David Hall said "Digicel is immensely proud of the role it has played in ensuring family and friends, the media and emergency services could stay in touch as much as possible during this difficult time. The Digicel network weathered the storm intact and remained live for the entire course of Hurricane Ivan. I"d like to thank all the Digicel staff members who worked throughout the past long and anxious days to ensure that this was possible."
Danville Walker, CEO of the ONR hands over the keys to the new boat, the 'Challenger' to Andre Kong, Director of Fisheries. Looking on is Major General Neish, Executive Director of the Digicel Foundation.
Digicel Foundation Makes Multi-million Dollar Boat Donation To Fishing Industry as part of the Hurricane Relief effort
Press Release – Monday, May 9th 2005
The non-profit organization, Digicel Foundation has handed over a 27ft fishing boat to the Fisheries Division valued at $9.3 Million.
In making the presentation of the new boat, ‘Challenger’, Major General Robert Neish, Executive Director of the Digicel Foundation stated that the latest donation is “a great highlight of our (the Foundation’s) on-going co-operation with the Office of National Reconstruction”.
He explained that the money is part of the $200Million allocated by the Digicel Foundation to the Hurricane Ivan restoration efforts across the island.
Major General Neish was speaking at the Official Handing-over ceremony of the new boat on Friday(May 6) at the Coast Guard Base, Port Royal.
The ‘Challenger’, is to be used by the Fishing Sector to locate missing fish traps and other fishing gears which get lost during turbulent weather systems, including hurricanes, storms, flooding.
The vessel is also to play a major role in assisting the Fisheries Division in any surveys or assessment of the coastal eco-system. “This component is critical in that it will provide a much-needed record of the current status of the coastal marine ecosystem, and this data will in turn be used to make critical fisheries management and development decisions,” said Andre Kong, Director of Fisheries while addressing participants at Friday’s official Handing-over Ceremony for the boat.
He lamented that an estimated $2.3billion in damage to the island’s Capture Fisheries Support Services infrastructure was sustained, during Hurricane Ivan.
Expressing gratitude to Digicel Foundation for the boat which boats a 250 horsepower engine, the Director of Fisheries noted that because of the boat’s special design, it can go into areas with shallow water, through which other such vessels would find it difficult maneuvering , in their bid to assess fish stocks and marine systems.
Mr. Kong also pointed out that the ‘Challenger’ would be utilized in conducting beach cleanup activities, and in ensuring a quick response time in the event that the Fisheries Division has top assist the Marine Police, in search and rescue matters.
Another important feature of the ‘Challenger’ is that it is environmentally friendly. According to the Fisheries Division, this gift from Digicel Foundation is 40% more efficient in fuel usage, and also gives off fewer emissions than other boats of a similar size.
Digicel Foundation is a non-profit Organization established by Digicel to support community-based and community-driven activities. To date the Foundation has rebuilt the Lakes Pen basic school in St. Catherine, provided recreational facilities in Arnett Gardens in Kingston and Farm Heights/ Rose Heights in St. James.
In terms of hurricane recovery initiatives, the Foundation has funded the repairs of over 200 schools, 16 libraries, various departments of the Meteorological Service and will help in the relocation of the residents of Portland cottage and Rocky Point.