Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc from Puerto Rico to Antigua, turning lush landscapes into barren land and upending the lives of thousands. Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister described Barbuda’s terrain as “total carnage”, adding that approximately half its population is “literally homeless” and recovery would take “an enormous amount of financial resources”. Traumatised by the wrath of a Category 5 storm, residents now wonder how they’ll pick up the pieces – and if they’ll be left alone to foot the bill.

Most of the Caribbean falls under the territorial jurisdictions of either the UK, France, the Netherlands, or the US, relying on them to provide assistance when disaster strikes. Others, like St. Lucia and Barbuda, are dependent on their own economies or funds they request from the international community. Writing for The Guardian, former Anguilla Attorney General Rupert Jones questioned the UK’s financial commitment to overseas territories, saying its relief package is “a drop in the Caribbean Sea”.

So, what does the Caribbean need to recover from Hurricane Irma? In this episode, The Stream speaks with people affected by the storm to learn how they’re working to rebuild their homes, communities, and lives.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:

Claire Nelson @DrClaireNelson
Founder and President, Institute of Caribbean Studies
icsdc.org

Charles Fernandez
Interim Minister of Disaster Services for Antigua and Barbuda
nods.gov.ag

Josephine Gumbs Connor
Attorney-at-Law and Legal Advisor to the former Chief Minister of Anguilla

Julian Bishop @juliandonbishop
St. Croix resident

Were you affected by Hurricane Irma's strike through the Caribbean? What are you doing to rebuild after the storm? Leave your thoughts below.