PM Skerrit addresses the nation a month after Erika

from Government of Dominica
Published on 01 Oct 2015 View Original

A draft assessment report undertaken by a team led by the World Bank estimates that the cost of damage, losses and reconstruction of the island’s infrastructure following Tropical Storm Erika is more than $1b.

This was confirmed by the Hon Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit in an address to the nation on Tuesday September 29th.

“On Friday September 25th, 2015, the Government received a draft assessment report undertaken by a team led by the World Bank and which included development partners and agencies such as the Caribbean Development Bank, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), the United Nations Development Programme, Pan-American Health Organisation, Food and Organisation, World Food Programme, OECS Commission and the University of the West Indies. The draft report estimates damages, losses and cost to rebuild infrastructure at EC $1.298b,” he said.

Meantime, the International Monetary Fund began a mission in Dominica on September 25th.

Hon. Prime Minister Skerrit explained that during that mission, the macro-economic framework will be reviewed and updated.

“The mission will assist Government to prepare a framework which will take into account the significant level of investment that Government must make, and establish a plan to fiscal operations,” he said.

Evacuees of areas hard hit by Tropical Storm Erika will be temporarily relocated to four guest houses this week.

This was confirmed by Hon. Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit in his address.

There are currently 322 persons residing at nine designated shelters across the island.

“Arrangements are being made to relocate 130 persons or 46 families currently at the Dominica Grammar School and four families at the Roseau Youth Centre to temporary housing at Springfield Guesthouse, Kent Anthony Guesthouse, Mr. Clean Guesthouse and St. Aimie’s Guesthouse.

“It is expected that all the Petite Savanne residents currently residing at the shelters will be given priority to move to new housing accommodations by Wednesday September 30th.

“Another component of the relocation process is the transfer of 17 persons housed at the Roseau Primary School to be accommodated at the Roseau Youth Centre.”

Over 800 houses were destroyed by mud slides and flooding associated with the passage of Tropical Storm Erika.

The Hon. Prime Minister explained that reconstruction, repairs and resettlement will be a very costly venture.

“Based on the field assessments coupled with information from the Central Statistics Office, over 890 homes have been destroyed or are uninhabitable due to the imminent risk of further destruction.

“The cost of resettlement, reconstruction and repairs to these homes housing 4,229 individuals is at a staggering EC $91,194,819.

“To-date several possible housing solution scenarios have been examined and we’re taking them all onboard as we fully appreciate the urgency of the need to have families resettled in as permanent and as comfortable as possible.

“We are indeed grateful to the Government of Venezuela for prompt commitment and commenced delivery of 300 Petro Casas. Officials are now working feverishly to finalize plans for the [establishment] of these units.”

He added that Dubique has been selected for the first 50 houses.

Government is currently in negotiations with several Governments, donor agencies and private developers to formulate designs for long term housing solutions.

The Hon. Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has applauded Dominicans residing abroad for promptly reaching out to their family and friends following Tropical Storm Erika.

“Within days and weeks and even now, relief supplies have been flowing from Dominicans abroad at a rate and quantity that we have never seen before. Dominicans abroad love this country; they love and care for their families and friends back home. We are proud and honoured to have such a focused and committed army of compatriots who do not need to be told a second time that help is needed in their homeland,” he said.