In September 2004, 150km-an-hour winds hit the small Caribbean island of Grenada, flattening 95% of buildings, killing dozens and making thousands homeless.
Jenny Gilchrist, a local woman from the parish of St David’s, remembers the devastation which greeted her the morning after the storm hit.
“Our island was destroyed, my house had the roof ripped clean off, it was total devastation,” she says. “My daughter said to me “mammy where shall we go?” and I said to her “we have no place to go” all our clothes and our possessions were ruined. We lived in water in our house for two days before help came.”
As well as destroying large tracts of Grenada’s pristine rainforest and coral reef, the hurricane decimated the nutmeg plantations, the island’s main source of income and employment for hundreds of farmers.
Since the hurricane the government has been struggling to rebuild the island’s bankrupt economy and has been increasingly looking to tourism development as the answer to its woes.
But the speed at which the island is being sold off to foreign property companies has led to accusations by environmentalists that the Grenadian government is sacrificing the island’s pristine natural habitats to the fast buck of resort development.
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