DOMINICA’S VULNERABILITY TO NATURAL HAZARDS
Dominica is located within the Atlantic hurricane belt and is extremely vulnerable to high-intensity weather events such as high winds, excess rainfall and hurricanes. Physical development in Dominica is concentrated along narrow coastal areas, particularly in the south and west. Housing is not built to withstand extreme natural hazards, with wood and galvanized sheeting being most common for roofing and with few confined masonry buildings.
On September 18, 2017, Hurricane Maria hit Dominica with catastrophic effects. Hurricane Maria was one of the most rapidly intensifying storms in recent history, leaving Dominica exposed to winds, flash floods and landslides. The impacts of Hurricane Maria were severe both for the country’s economy as well as the human development of its citizens, and affected Dominica’s productive, social, and infrastructure sectors. Two years before Hurricane Maria, Tropical Storm Erika passed over Dominica in August 2015, producing intense rainfall across the island resulting in flash flooding, landslides and mudslides.
SHARING RESULTS, LEVERAGING FINANCING AND STARTING TO REBUILD
Following both Hurricane Maria and Tropical Storm Erika, Dominica conducted Post-Disaster Needs Assessments (PDNAs), with support from the ACP-EU NDRR Program*, which is managed by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) and the World Bank.
The Hurricane Maria PDNA identified housing as the most affected sector and one of the most important and challenging areas for recovery. Building on the recommendations of the Hurricane Maria PDNA, the ACP-EU NDRR Program launched the “Enhancing Resilient Reconstruction in Dominica” project.
This project supports the critical early-implementation phase of the World Bank-Financed US$40 million “Dominica Housing Recovery Project” and seeks, more broadly, to improve the application and uptake of resilient building practices in the housing sector in Dominica. To this end, the project:
i. Develops a Management Information System that supports both the Housing Recovery Project and the physical planning process;
ii. Develops ways to transparently identify beneficiaries of the Housing Recovery Project; and
iii. Provides resilient reconstruction guidance through hands-on-training to staff in Technical Assistance Centers and to local building contractors and artisans.