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[VIDEO] Six Months after Hurricane Maria

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A quick mix of drone shots showing progress of recovery after Hurricane Maria – a monster which had maximum winds up to 240 miles/hr.

Different parts of island come back in different speeds. Unusual attack of vines looks interesting but strangles many trees. Some trees are doing well and bloom, while in other parts, they have hard time to awake.

This clip is more about nature recovery than about people. Hope you enjoy.

By Derek Galon

 

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[VIDEO] How we passed Hurricane Maria in Dominica – Cristóbal Matte

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Positive Notes from Positive People #39

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Stefan and I spent 2 Sundays so far picking up garbage (mostly plastic and styrofoam) from our beloved Champagne beach. Despite our efforts, we have made a mere dent in the amount of pollution seen at one of our key tourism sites.

How can we be a Climate Resilient nation when Dominicans cannot understand the basic concept of not littering let alone carbon neutrality, clean energy or even climate change. We are quick to pass the blame of climate change to larger countries and ignore our own wrongdoings.

If you disagree with me, prove to me that there are more than a handful of us who truly care about our environment. Clean up a beach, replant our native trees, support our wildlife through their struggles and recovery, and stop burning plastic!

We can’t expect others to help us and to move forward if we can’t even help ourselves #LeveDominik

Photos and Text by Jeanelle Brisbane

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[PHOTOS] Ongoing Works at WNT’s Segment 3

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The following photos were taken between February 22 – 24, 2018 from Morne Prosper to Wotten Waven, as well as Bellevue Chopin to Giraudel.

The two work teams are lead by Mr. Thomas Allan & Mr. Roy Ormond. Volunteers included a Swedish couple and a Canadian family who were part of the Fort Young Hotel’s voluntourism program.

Work on Segment 3 so far has involved sawing and bucking of fallen trees, construction of bypass, creation of foot holds, and brush-cutting with future works to include repairing of trail beds, installation of ropes, and painting of the yellow and blue trail blazes.

Thank you to the trail workers, industry stakeholders and volunteers who have all supported the Waitukubuli National Trail Management Unit’s efforts since the passage of the hurricane. Fort Young Hotel has officially adopted Segment 3 of the Waitukubuli National Trail.

Photo source: Waitukubuli National Trail Facebook page

 

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[VIDEO] Rare Whales Filmed Professionally for the First Time Ever… in Dominica

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Gervais' Beaked Whales

This mysterious whale is so elusive that it wasn’t seen alive in the wild until 1998. Gervais’ beaked whales live in the waters of the central and north Atlantic Ocean.

Sometimes confused with the 21 other species of beaked whales, Gervais’ beaked whales are difficult to study. Weighing about 2,640 pounds, the whales can grow up to 17 feet long. Living an estimated 27 years, they eat squid, shrimpand small fish.

Since information on the species is scarce, it’s possible they are threatened by a number of factors. These include being caught as by-catch, noise pollution, and climate change.


Here’s an excerpt from the National Geographic article:

“Gervais’ beaked whales are easily one of the most elusive mammals to swim through our oceans. Most of the information we have about them comes from studies of corpses that have washed ashore, and the first live whale was only spotted about 20 years ago.

On February 27, photographer and videographer Patrick Dykstra captured what may be the first drone or aerial footage of Gervais’ beaked whales. He was filming about three miles off the west coast of Dominica in the Caribbean Sea. Dykstra and his Picture Adventure Expeditions team accidentally came across the rare beaked whales when they were filming sperm whales for an upcoming production.”

 

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[PHOTOS] St. George’s University Visit to Dominica post-Maria

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In early January 2018, Grenadian volunteers comprising of lecturers and students from the St. George’s University’s Marine and Wildlife Department were honored to help in the rehabilitation of our forests and wildlife following the devastation caused by hurricane Maria.

The group was able to conduct visual and quantitative surveys of various forest reserves and also assess the status of the endemic Dominican parrots; the Sisserou parrot (Amazona imperalis) and the red-necked amazon (Amazona arausiaca).

“The widespread destruction seen on the ground was quite sobering but the ‘spirit’ and motivation of the people we met and had the opportunity to work with gave us the assurance that Dominica and its natural resources are in good hands. Already the forest is showing good signs of natural regrowth! Dominica will rebound! Thank you for making this mission a success.” – Group member

To the St. George’s University – Grenada, the Grenadian people, Dr. Andrea Easter-Pilcher, Leon Radix and all who made this trip possible – thank you for coming to Dominica to volunteer your time and experience!

Photo source: Waitukubuli National Trail Facebook page

 

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A Few Notable Dominican Women on Int’l Women’s Day

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Today is recognized as International Women’s Day around the world and there’s a renewed call to so celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women.

At Embrace Dominica, we decided to feature a few local women of note. However, instead of the usual suspects such as Ophelia, Dame Eugenia Charles, Dr. Carissa Etienne and other women of that ilk, we will feature a group of younger women in non-traditional fields of work or male-dominated industries.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. So if you know someone who qualifies for this grouping, please send us an email or leave a comment below!

UPDATE: I have received new submissions and added them here. Many thanks to Kerdisha, Taisha, Rianna, Delroy and Terri-Anne!

1Niquelle Latouche

Niquelle LaTouche is a British-born and Dominican-raised artist who has been performing on stages across the UK and internationally. She has danced and worked in: South Africa, Dominica, France, Portugal, Belgium, Germany, Scotland, Reading, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol… to name a few.

As well as performing, Niquelle also works commercially and choreographs for companies/artists as well as running her multidisciplinary company Niquelle LaTouche Arts which is invested in speaking from a place of authenticity through the arts and encourages creative collaborations in hopes to bring people together.

2Leanne Morancie

Leanne Morancie is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Media Communications at the University of the Virgin Islands. She is a pageant industry veteran and has participated in many roles: as a coordinator, emcee and contestant. Her pageant history includes titles earned in various state, national and international pageants such as 2015 Miss Caribbean Houston (1st Runner Up), Miss Dominica Caribbean United States 2016 and Miss Legacy International 2017. Leanne’s volunteerism and community involvement are also well documented in her efforts at the Boys and Girls Club of the Virgin Islands, the International Festival, the Star of Hope Homeless Shelters, the Golden Key International Honor Society, the Caribbean American Heritage Foundation of Texas and various elementary schools within the region. Visit her Facebook page and say hi!

3Chanté Joseph

Chanté Joseph is a third-year student at the University of Bristol studying Social Policy with Quantitative Research Methods. Most recently she was named one of the top 10 black students in the UK, one of Bristol’s 24 most influential people under 24 and the 11th most influential female student in the UK. At her university she is the Chair of Bristol Labour students, the Black and Minority Ethnic Students officer and runs a black students media hub called Bristol is the New Black that seeks to give black students the space and skills to tell their own stories. In addition to this she is the editor and curator of Bristol’s first ever BME Powerlist. She also writes for Gal-dem, Crack Magazine and other publications, is regularly interviewed on BBC Radio and BBC News about her work and activism and spent her summer break interning for Google.

4Tsehai Grell

Tsehai Grell graduated from Morgan State University with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with highest honors. She obtained a Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry in 2018 from the Department of Chemistry at Massachusetts Institute Technology (MIT). In addition to performing research, Tsehai is an active member of the MIT community and has served in leadership positions in a number of student organizations, including the Black Graduate Student Associations and Academy for Courageous Minorities in Engineering. Tsehai has also served as a guest lecturer for high school students during the Koch Summer Science program and as a mentor to undergraduate students as a Program Assistant in the MIT Summer Research Program. Uniting the themes of diversity and mentorship, Tsehai volunteers with a non-profit organization, i-Trek, to provide non-traditional research experiences to underserved and underrepresented populations.

5Leandra Lander

Leandra Lander is the head of the Geography Department at Convent High School by day, and an Arts and Cultural ambassador by night and day! It is genuinely difficult to keep up with her activities, but I’ll try… Leandra is a successful pageant title holder in the Miss Dominica Pageant, Miss Jaycees, Miss Carival, Miss Caribbean Culture pageants in the year 2007; she is director and composer for cultural group Vwa Dou; Leandra leads the Convent High School Speech Chorale, Choir and Sign Language Club and has co-written and directed productions done by these groups; she is one of the longest serving members of the Sixth Form Sisserou Singers and has held various leadership positions within the organization. In her spare time, Leandra takes on Masters of Ceremony roles at various national events, and most recently, she has began to produce and host a weekly educational radio program called ‘Chalk & Chatter’.

6Ferdina Frampton

With over 25 years’ experience in the Field of Broadcast media, Ferdina Frampton was able to land a major role at Dominica’s leading telecommunications provider Cable & Wireless (Flow) where she leads the Marketing and Corporate Communications department of the company. As a former reporter at the Chronicle Newspaper, radio announcer and news presenter at the Voice of the Islands radio; senior producer, news reporter and presenter, and announcer at the Dominica Broadcasting Station, it’s safe to say that she is a stalwart of women in Media. A former Miss Dominica 2nd runner-up, Miss Amity & Miss Intelligence, Ferdina went on to create the Miss Pleasantly Plump and Beautiful pageant highlighting fuller figured women. She’s a former coordinator of judges for the Dominica Calypso Associations’ calypso competitions; a job she performed for close to 15 years. She also volunteers in judging pageants across the length and breadth of Dominica including the selection of contestants for the Miss Dominica Pageant. Ferdina has been blessed with a natural innate talent for media and she enjoys using this talent to unearth the inspiring stories of Dominicans through the hosting of the IN the SPOTLIGHT Radio show,  a program  held every Monday night on WICE Q95FM Radio featuring the achievements of Dominicans at home and abroad and focusing on subjects of important to the Dominican people.

7Shamah Lloyd

Shamah Lloyd is a native of Castle-Bruce residing in Houston, Texas. She enjoys a career as a Chemist and is also pursuing a degree in Chemical Engineering. As Founder and CEO of Exquisite Bundles (a luxurious human hair extensions company), Shamah facilitates self-love by empowering women to define their own looks. Shamah is also one of the co-founders of the Houston Caribbean Queen (HCQ) Pageant. The program is the first of its kind and provides a network for young women with a shared cultural background.

8Juanita Louis

Juanita Louis migrated to New York after she graduated from high school in Dominica to pursue a college education. Her glowing beauty attracted the eyes of several modeling agencies including one of New York City’s top modeling agencies, Wilhemina. Juanita’s passion for helping others steered her to a degree in medicine, which she achieved with honors! Upon completion of that degree, she refocused her love for fashion and reinvented herself as a model in the fashion industry in New York City! Give Juanita some love on her official Facebook page.

9Afia Kufuor

Afia Kufuor hails from Roseau and is a History student at the University of Kent. She is the Head of Online at Canterbury’s Student Radio and has presented both the breakfast and lunchtime shows since joining the station. Afia is a Team Assistant at BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra and the Asian Network and in her spare time she hosts live events and is a DJ. In her gap year, Afia was a news reporter for the UK’s first under 25 youth-led news team, London360. During this time she produced three 30-minute documentaries that broadcast on London Live and the Community Channel on Sky, Virgin and Freeview.

10Kerdisha St. Louis

 

Kerdisha St. Louis is founder of the KSChronicles, an online Caribbean Magazine highlighting Caribbean people and culture. She is passionate about journalism, media and youth development and has active roles on Dominica’s National Youth Council (Assistant Secretary/Treasurer and Media Team Coordinator), and hosts ‘Youth Camera Action’ on Marpin Channel 5. In 2016, Kerdisha won the National Youth award for Media and more recently, started a new company – KS Consultancy – a Social/Digital Media marketing consultancy company.

11Kellyn George

Kellyn George is a sickle cell survivor and is the founder of the Sickle Cell Cares Foundation, an organization that raises awareness of Sickle Cell disease in Dominica and supports those who live with the disease. Kellyn is also the proud recipient of the 2015 Queens Young Leaders award and has been selected to attend the One Young World Summit.

12Tina Alfred

Tina Alfred  is a steadfast Victim Supporter for sexually abused women and a member of Lifeline Ministries (providing a voice for the unrepresented and victimized in Dominica), the Dominica National Youth Council and the Bureau Of Gender Affairs. In 2016, Tina was the recipient of the Queens Young Leader award and she’s passionate about women rights.

13Crystel Hilton

Crystel Hilton is fashion designer from Bioche who specializes in handmade jewelry and accessory designs. Her work has been showcased at various shows, include in Quebec, Canada during Montreal Caribbean Fashion Week. Look out for her work in New York at Le Coiffeur Styles The Runway 2018 in April! Check our her Facebook page and read about her here and here.

14Valarie Honoré

Valarie Honoré is a Social Entrepreneur and the founder of I Have a Right Foundation. She has represented Dominica at various prestigious events, such as the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (2016), the One Young World Summit in Columbia (2017) and more recently, at a US Government Alumni Thematic International Exchange Seminar on Emergency Response and Disaster Preparedness. Valarie is also one of 80 Peace Ambassadors from around the world.

15Sherma Alfred

Sherma Alfred is a trained Trichologist (a hair and scalp specialist – the only one in the region!) and Cosmetologist, and has run a beauty salon for more than 15 years. Now known as Caribbean Beauty Salon and Clinic, the business offers a full range of services including trichology consultations, hair, makeup, facials and waxing.

16Mel

Melinda ‘Mel’ Ulysses is a talented singer/songwriter who hails from Stock Farm. A former primary school teacher, Mel is now traveling the world as a performer (with band Island Notes) aboard a cruise ship in the Norwegian fleet. She recently celebrated an astounding achievement – 3 million views on her music video for Touch Me Remix! Say ‘hi’ to Mel via her Facebook page.

17Alexandra Dupigny

Alexandra Dupigny is the first female, Kalinago, LIAT-certified, pilot from Dominica and is now a proud pilot with regional airline, LIAT. After years in the banking industry, she left to follow her childhood dream of becoming a pilot and has never turned back!

18Nicole Laville

Nicole Laville is the current Terminal Manager of ARGOS Dominica Ltd. (local supplier of cement) and co-founder of CORISAV, a full service engineering company here in Dominica. She is also a proud wife, mother and passionate about everything Dominican.

19Kimone Joseph

Kimone Joseph is the Officer-in-Charge at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Open Campus Dominica. She is a University of Leeds (UK) graduate and holds a Masters of Arts degree in Communications Studies. Kimone is also a student, and she’s currently a UWI doctoral candidate in the Educational Leadership in Higher Education programme.

20Nikima Royer-Jno Baptiste

Nikima Royer-Jno Baptiste is the first female and Dominican-national to ever be appointed in the role of Chief Executive Officer for DIGICEL’s Dominican operations. Before a career in the Telecommunications industry, she worked in Tourism for over 10 years. Nikima is a passionate leader and proud family-woman.

21Rianna Patterson

Rianna Patterson‘s grandfather passed away after battling dementia, and this young lady turned a family tragedy into a positive movement. In 2016, Rianna started the Dominica Dementia Foundation and a year later, had two awards under her belt – the 2017 Esteemed Volunteer Award from Dominica’s National Youth Council and the coveted 2017 Queen’s Young Leader title. In March 2018, as a student at the University of Kent, Rianna graced the TEDx stage and is the youngest Dominican on record to do so!

 

Do you know any other women who should be added to this list? (Think young in a non-traditional field and male-dominated industries.) If you do, leave a comment below!

 

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Dominican-born Attorney Sworn into the US Supreme Court Bar

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Garvin Gauss Ambrose
Ambrose (fourth from right) is a graduate of Southeast Missouri State University (B.S., 2001) and Thomas M. Cooley Law School (J.D., 2005).

On February 28, 2018, Dominican born attorney, Garvin Gauss Ambrose, was sworn in as a member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States in Washington, D.C.

Ambrose, who was born in the Village of Mahaut, became an attorney in 2005. He is currently an Assistant State’s Attorney and Chief of the Bureau of Administrative Services for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in Chicago, Illinois.

Ambrose is a graduate of Southeast Missouri State University (B.S., 2001) and Thomas M. Cooley Law School (J.D., 2005). He attended the Mahaut Primary School before migrating to Canada at seven. He remains Dominican at heart.

“As a proud Dominican, I try to take every opportunity to uplift our country while overseas…” Garvin Gauss Ambrose

The Supreme Court Bar allows lawyers to practice before the US’ highest court.

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[PHOTOS] Model Roof Takes a Tour Around Dominica!

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Roseau, Dominica, 28 February 2018 — The Ministry of Planning, Economic Development, and Investment with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Engineers Without Borders (EWB) continued to partner to advocate for building resiliency in Dominica post-Hurricane Maria. A model roof designed and built by the EWB team will be on display at various locations across the island.

First seen at the Carnival Monday Parade on 12 February 2018, the model roof has been an effective way to engage Dominicans in discussion on building back better. Five model roofs have been built and these, along with the revised Guide to Dominica´s Housing Standards, also advanced by the Ministry of Planning, UNDP, and EWB, are critical to advocacy and education for building back better.

“Apart from being a tangible example of a resilient roof, it has been a great communication tool,” says Benjie Hayek of EWB.

“It really gets us great feedback from members of the public who are seeking information from us and who are sharing their Hurricane Maria experience,” she added.

For the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Planning, Mrs. Gloria Joseph, the roof and document complement each other for outreach efforts.

Photos source: UNDP Dominica Project Office

“While members of the public can interact with the mobile roof, i.e. see and touch, they cannot go home with it and so the Guide enables them to reference what they have learnt, not just when they actually have to rebuild but throughout the entire process from planning to buying materials.

It is a ready reference they can carry with them in various stages of the rebuilding process and that goes a long way in supporting the efforts of the Ministry,” she stated.

To date, the roof has been displayed at EH Charles and Rudolph Thomas hardware stores in Roseau and Portsmouth respectively as well as the government headquarters and Roseau Market. A town hall meeting was held on Wednesday 21 February 2018 at the Credit Union Hall in Portsmouth, where a cross-section of the community attended a discussion on building back better.

Senior Development Control Officer and officer for the North in the Physical Planning Division, Joseph Fontaine, was very encouraged by the feedback from the audience.

“The persons who attended included homeowners, contractors, and material suppliers, all of whom were affected by Maria in one way or another. They asked pertinent and very technically specific questions and were very eager to apply the changes we have suggested as they rebuild. So as someone who has to, at some point, inspect their structures, this is very encouraging.”

This week the model roof was on display in Grand Bay on Monday and Marigot the following day and will be on display for the rest of the week as follows: Wednesday 28th February 2018: Soufriere at the Christian Union Church from 4:00 pm, Thursday 1st March 2018: Kalinago Territory at the St. Cyr Resource Centre from 9:30am, Castle Bruce at the Castle Bruce Secondary School from 3:00 pm.

Other dates and locations will be announced in the coming weeks.

UNDP´s support for the education programme including the model roofs, revised Guidelines, and outreach activities has been made possible through a US$3 million grant from the Government of The People’s Republic of China, mainly towards resilient roof construction through procurement of materials and equipment.

This support will be implemented through partnerships with other agencies including four buildings at the Princess Margaret Hospital with the Ministry of Health; five health centers with AmeriCares Foundation; the Dominica State College with the Ministry of Education; and
600 homes for vulnerable households through international partners Caritas, International Organization for Migration (IOM), IsraAid and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). Repairs to the roofs of apartments at Bath Estate and Elmshall will be carried out with funds from the government of India.

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[PHOTOS] Top officials from Dominica, China and UNDP Assess Recovery Efforts

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Roseau, Dominica (6 March 2018) — High level representatives from the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica, the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) conducted site visits on March 5, 2018 to the Princess Margaret Hospital, the Woodbridge Bay Port, the Dublanc Health Center and a home in Colihaut to examine the progress of roofing repairs.

The visit takes place as Dominicans are starting to reap benefits in sturdier roofing from US$3 million worth of roofing materials through the China-funded project, implemented by UNDP with national counterparts. Since the beginning of the year, approximately 840 cubic metres of roofing material have arrived in Dominica. The roofing repairs are scheduled for completion by the end of June 2018. In the immediate hurricane aftermath, the Government of China also offered US$800,000 to support efforts to build back better.

Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Planning, Economic Development & Investment the Honourable Dr. John Collin McIntyre, expressed the Government of Dominica’s gratitude for this generous donation which represents the continuation of a strong friendship between the two countries.

Ambassador Lu Kun of China expressed that his Government attaches great importance to this project, and that they chose to collaborate with UNDP given its professionalism and experience in early recovery.

Building back better

A countrywide Building Damage Assessment led by UNDP in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria has revealed that 19 percent of all residential buildings in Dominica were destroyed, 26 percent suffered major damage, 29 percent suffered minor damage and 27 percent minimal damage.

“As part of the UNDP’s Build Back Better approach, we are promoting disaster-resilient communities, and this means ensuring that critical buildings such as health centers can survive the worst storms,” said UNDP Resident Representative for Barbados and the OECS, Stephen O’Malley, thanking the government of China for the contribution to this approach, particularly urgent in view of the next hurricane season a few months away.

Photos: Zaimis Olmos/UNDP

At the Princess Margaret Hospital, where work is being supervised by the Ministry of Health and the Environment, the buildings being repaired are the Nursing Hostel/Project Management Unit, the Acute Psychiatric Unit and the Dialysis Unit. The works are currently at 60 percent completion.

The repairs to the Dublanc Health Center are being managed by the Ministry of Health in partnership with the Americares Foundation. The health centers in Woodford Hill, Calibishie, Dos D’Ane, and Warner are also benefitting from this partnership.

UNDP has partnered with the Ministry of Housing, Lands and Water Resource Management and other international aid organisations IsraAid, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Caritas and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to repair the roofs of the homes of over 600 vulnerable households.

The relevant Ministries are overseeing repair works with support from Engineers Without Borders (EwB), a civil society organization that has been key in training over 350 local contractors on building standards. EwB has also contributed to the revision of the Guide to Dominica’s Housing Standards in collaboration with the UNDP and the Ministry of Planning, Economic Development and Investment.

 

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[VIDEO] Dominican Bikers make Waves in St. Lucia

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Press Release (March 6, 2018) – The Dominica Bikers made history once again by traveling to St. Lucia with their bikes for the second time. This time it was for St. Lucia 39th Independence celebration.

While it was anticipated that a contingent from Dominica would not make this trip because of the damage cause by hurricane Maria, they were able to put together a large contingent of 20 bikes (18 bikes, 2 ATVs). The bikers chartered local boat owner and captain Mr. Neville Wade from Portsmouth in an effort to keep the business local.

Departure commenced on Wednesday, February 21st from the Portsmouth berth. Upon arrival in Vieux Fort, St. Lucia it was evident that the Dominica contingent intended to make a statement throughout their stay.

They awakened the city of Vieux Fort on arrival with bystanders in amazement at the display of colorful and well maintained motorcycles. Next, Castries was awakened by the bikers as they make sure that the city recognized that Dominica was finally there.

Throughout the rest of the week, it was evident that wherever Dominica was, that was the place to be. While they participated in most of the events throughout the week, it wasn’t until the weekend that the final nail in the coffin was set to say that not only was Dominica there, but they came strong, resilient and ready for action.

Sunday was the Drag Wars at the base drag strip in Vieux Fort. A smaller group attended the drag event and made a profound statement against the competition from other islands. Dominica won most of the races they participated in during their time on the drag. This is a great milestone, considering that there are no drag strips or areas for Dominican bikers to practice or fine-tune their skills in order to compete, yet still, they were amongst the best performers of the day.

Next and lastly was the Supermoto race and stunt exhibition in the city of Castries. Dominica had no participants in the races but participated in stunt exhibition where they completely stole the show. The crowd was in a frenzy at every instant the Dominicans performed.

At the commencement of the event, you could hear the crowd screaming for the Dominicans to continue. At the afterparty on the boulevard in Castries, Dominica put on a final show, draping a young lady in a large Dominican Flag while one of the ATVs made circles around her. This cemented Dominica’s performance as a complete SHELL DOWN of the St. Lucian Independence celebration.

This entire trip has been encapsulated by the contingents traveling local Vlogger (Mystellics) of MystProductionz. Videos of the trip can be viewed on his youtube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/user/MystProductionz.

This trip was not just a trip for bikers, it was a time to display the many talents in the Dominica autosports industry.

Surprisingly to the bikers, they realized the trip was bigger than them, it was an empowerment and encouragement for those Dominican who fled after Hurricane Maria, the tourists who are still interested in the island but unsure of its true condition.

All in all, it showed the outside world the resilience of Dominicans and Dominica as a whole, to return after Hurricane Maria in such a big way as to steal the show on foreign land while promoting the use of safety gear and good riding.

It is anticipated that next year, an even larger contingent will be traveling, while also encouraging other islands to visit Dominica as well.

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Dominica to Benefit from FAO Cassava Project

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Cassava bread, Dominica

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) have signed a Framework Cooperation Agreement for the Bank to approve a grant of US$1.2 million for the FAO to implement a cassava project in Dominica, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.

Titled: ‘Cassava Industry – Market Assessment and Technology Validation and Dissemination’, the project is to facilitate the testing of improved cassava varieties and production systems, and conduct market assessments.

The results will be used to provide guidance to member countries on the viability of commercial cassava production as a suitable substitute for wheat in the production of composite breads, traditional and new products.

FAO and CDB cassava project
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Sub-regional Director (ad interim), Dr. Lystra Fletcher-Paul (left), and Director of Projects at the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Mr. Daniel Best (right), shake hands after signing Framework Cooperation Agreement, today (March 5), at the 35th staging of the Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean, in Montego Bay. (Photo: Claudia Gardner)

The signing ceremony took place today (March 5) on the opening day of the 35th staging of the FAO’s Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean, being held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, in St. James.

The agreement will also allow the FAO to provide better technical assistance in projects in which the CDB is providing finance, allow the FAO to directly execute projects with funds from the CDB, and for both organisations to provide joint assistance to countries of common membership.

Speaking at the signing, FAO Sub-regional Director (ad interim), Dr. Lystra Fletcher-Paul, said the initiative is one of many in the Caribbean, aimed at reducing the growing food import bill which currently stands at US$5 billion per annum.

Cassava bread, Dominica
Cassava bread being made in the Kalinago Territory. (Photo source: Large Up)

Dr. Fletcher-Paul further noted that more than 40 per cent of the food imports in the Caribbean comprise products that are high in processed carbohydrates, sugar, fats and salt.

“The consumption of these foods is linked to the prevalence of overweight and obesity and, by extension, the high incidents of chronic non-communicable diseases, the leading cause of deaths in the region,” she said.

She explained that the agreement facilitates the ease of action for the FAO to implement immediate systems to substitute wheat with cassava.

 

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Registration for 1100 Promised Jobs Commences

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Roosevelt Skerrit, Dominica

PRESS RELEASE (March 6, 2018) – The Office of the Prime Minister is pleased to announce the commencement of the special programme to create employment for persons displaced from Hurricane Maria. The programme is transitional in nature and will be operated for a period of six (6) months, in the first instance.

The programme is expected to explore all possible job opportunities with the Public and Private Sector, including opportunities within the firms and agencies that may have made people redundant purely based on inability to pay. Focus will also be placed on job openings as a result of the recovery effort, new investments or expansion of existing businesses.

The administrative framework for the programme has been put in place and in that regard,affected persons are invited to register on the first floor of the Financial Centre in Roseau.

Registration forms are available and persons are expected to provide details of their redundancies or evidence of their displacement. Staff will be available to assist and to obtain additional information from persons where necessary.

The office hours are 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM on Monday and 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM on Tuesday to Friday.

 

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Harris Paints Donates $600,000 Worth of Paint to Government of Dominica

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Harris Paints, Dominica
Photo source: Dominica News Online

Harris Paint has donated two containers of paint and supplies worth over six hundred thousand EC dollars to assist in the reconstruction process following the devastation of Hurricane Maria.

The supplies were officially handed over at a ceremony held in the Office of the Prime Minister on Tuesday 6 March 2018 where Chief Executive Officer of Harris Paints, Ian Kenyon, stated that the company has had the commitment of giving back to the community.

Harris Paints, Dominica
CEO of Harris Paints. (Photo source: Harris Paints)

“The company that I am so proud to represent, is a company that recognizes the importance of making a profit for sure, but always from the first day it was ever created, and established in Dominica as well, has always made a commitment to give back to the community. And while it is easy to do that when things are going well but it’s much harder to do it when things are tough and your back is against the wall,” Kenyon said.

He noted that after the passage of Hurricane Maria, the company reached out to other countries to make a plea on Dominica’s behalf to assist in the rebuilding process.

“And I made that case for Dominica to the community of seventy seven paint companies and they stepped up. They stepped up in terms of supplying a hundred and sixty plates worth of paint that we supplied already. That alone was worth about a six hundred thousand EC dollars. But then another company from just outside of New York stepped up and said that they want to donate some paint as well. And it wasn’t just some paint, it was the two containers loads of paint,” he noted.

Kenyon said he is proud to be able to give back to Dominica in its time of need, while giving his commitment to continue to assist Dominica.

“We have enjoyed forty years and we look forward to another forty years of giving color and protection to Dominicans. And just to know that through those connections we can support our drive to make Dominica the beautiful country that it is,” Kenyon added.

Meanwhile, Minister responsible for Housing, Reginald Austrie expressed his gratitude to Harris Paints for their donation.

“This gesture is very, very timely and will be put to good use. I will take this time to ask the government and my colleagues to use this as quickly as possible and once we use up this first two containers then we will decide how we want to proceed with more containers. We are happy and we are satisfied with what I am saying will be the first step in assisting the government in meeting its objective of providing decent and affordable housing,” Austrie stated.

 

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Sulfur Spas in Wotten Waven Re-open for Business!

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DA ESCAPE , natural hot spa is opened to the public. Emonews is simply promoting the nature Isle of Dominica. Feel free to visit Access road: via Tragalgar Message emonews for further info

Posted by EmoNews on Thursday, February 15, 2018

The community of Wotten Waven, deep in the Roseau Valley, is a unique place. Known for its geothermal activity, many businesses in the area cater to the health and wellness sector by offering warm, sulfur bathing facilities.

Hurricane Maria took a significant toll on these enterprises and in some cases, completely destroyed the premises. A popular destination for locals and foreigners alike, the destruction will negatively affect Wotten Waven for years to come.

This is why we were pleased to find out that two of these businesses are now open to the public!

Ti Kwen Glo Cho and Da Escape recently re-opened their doors to the public. While there’s still a lot of work to be done, we are happy to once again, promote these local companies and the services they offer.

Visit them soon!

Video above: EmoNews interviews the proprietor of Da Escape.

Ti Kwen Glo Cho, Dominica
Ti Kwen Glo Cho (Photo source: Melinda George)

 

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Passengers of MV Saga Sapphire Give Back to Dominica

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Roseau, Dominica (February 9, 2018) – The MV Saga Sapphire of Saga Cruises, visited Dominica on Sunday February 4, 2018. This was the ship’s first call to the island for the 2017/2018 cruise season. The vessel with a capacity of 620 cruise passengers, left a lasting impression on Dominica through the generous donations made by the cruise passengers towards Dominica’s recovery efforts.

This was brought on by the good-hearted contribution of one cruise passenger, which triggered the emotions of other cruise passengers to donate generously in just one hour. The captain and crew graciously arranged for a brief ceremony to be held aboard the ship, allowing cruise passengers the opportunity to make their financial donations, which were received by representatives of the Dominica Red Cross Society.

The Dominica Red Cross Society thanked the ship and its passengers for the donation and pledged the Society’s commitment towards utilizing the funds to assist in rebuilding efforts post Hurricane Maria.

Saga Sapphire 2

Passengers from the ship engaged in shore excursions to include tours to the Hibiscus Eco Village, Kalinago Territory, Fort Shirley at the Cabrits National Park, the refreshing Emerald Pool and the Trafalgar Falls. Some also engaged in river tubing tours and basked on the island’s unique therapeutic black sand Mero Beach.

Visitors to the island utilized services offered by vendors, taxi drivers, tour operators, tour guides and others in the tourism industry. The Government and people of Dominica appreciated the contributions by the passengers of Saga Sapphire.

 

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CBI-Funded Anichi Resort & Spa Officially Breaks Ground in Dominica

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Anichi Resort & Spa, an Autograph Collection hotel included in Marriott International’s portfolio of properties, and in Dominica’s Citizenship by Investment Programme (CBI), officially broke ground on Wednesday, February 7.

The event, which occurred at the resort’s construction site in Picard, Portsmouth, emphasized the development’s intent to add sophisticated room stock to Dominica’s tourism industry, offer employment opportunities to Dominicans, and inject much needed revenue into Dominica’s recovering economy.

Anichi, which pays homage to the country’s indigenous people, the Kalinagos, as well as Dominica’s culture and history of resilience, is being developed by well-respected Dominican lawyer, Alick Lawrence, who is recognized as the country’s longest serving citizenship agent.

The Portsmouth native, who heads Anichi Development, sees the resort as a symbol of hope for the island following the ravages caused by Hurricane Maria in 2017.

“We see this project as part of the recovery effort through the employment it is creating for our people, but more importantly, through the message of optimism that it conveys,” Lawrence said.  “Dominicans are not daunted; we are not defeated. We will rise again.”

Anichi Resort, Dominica
Chief Executive Officer of Anichi Development, Alick Lawrence, credits the Citizenship by Investment Programme for circulating money in the economy. (Photo source: CTrustGlobal)

Lawrence, who openly pledged his support to the country’s Citizenship by Investment Programme, and to the government for maintaining the integrity of the programme, credits it for benefiting “every aspect of Dominican life – whether health, infrastructure, the National Employment Programme, medical assistance, student assistance, and housing, to name a few.” In-fact, Lawrence boldly stated that all Dominicans, whether directly or indirectly, benefit from the programme – particularly because of its apt for circulating money throughout the economy.

Anichi Resort & Spa, formerly known as Silver Beach Resort & Spa, joined forces with the world’s largest hotel brand, Marriott International, in 2017 – a re-branding exercise that led to an overhaul of the property’s architectural plans, resort name, and overall brand story. On hand to witness the event, and to validate the confidence placed in the project by its parent brand Marriott International, was Marriott’s Area Director of Operations for the Caribbean and Latin America, Brock Hochhalter.

Anichi Resort, Dominica
Brock Hochhalter believes the Marriott-Anichi partnership will do great things for Dominica. (Photo source: CTrustGlobal)

Hochhalter, who revelled in the beauty of Dominica’s landscape and rivers, expressed his company’s excitement to see Anichi become a “great example and representation of what the Autograph brand is – exactly like nothing else.” Hochhalter even ventured to say that there would be no better place to have the brand “than at this location with this amazing view, and on this amazing island.”

According to the Area Director, Anichi was chosen to be an Autograph Collection hotel because of the ability of its individual location to drive the heart and spirit of what the resort stands for. Echoing Lawrence’s sentiments about the value of the partnership, Hochhalter too stated that the partnership and enterprise “will also work hard to bring growth and opportunity back to Dominica.”

Although the resort will carry Marriott’s Autograph Collection brand, the day-to-day management of its operations will be overseen by Trust Hospitality – a leader in the management of lifestyle branded properties in the Americas. Michael Register, the Director at Trust Hospitality, stressed his company’s ability to manage properties of the Autograph calibre, and vowed its commitment toward operating a successful product.  “We are determined to create a great work environment here; to help train people and help create a very successful project.”

Register, who was also on hand at the company’s brand unveiling event in 2017, is no stranger to Dominica, and has been traveling to the island for seven years. Register sees the island as having a clean slate and the Anichi-Marriott partnership as a chance to do something great.

“You’ve picked the right brand. Marriott is the biggest in the world,” Register said. “They will bring customers here. They will help Dominica become discovered and the quality of customers that are going to come to the Anichi Autograph are going to be high-end customers that will spend money.”

Anichi Resort, Dominica
Prime Minister of Dominica, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit, pledges his presence to help promote Anichi Resort & Spa. (Photo source: CTrustGlobal)

Having Marriott International and Trust Hospitality present in Dominica is indicative that Dominica’s tourism will continue to grow from strength to strength said the country’s Prime Minister, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit. “These are two well respected, international brands, and they do not place their names on any, and all developments. Having been satisfied that this project and the developers passed the test, they have ascribed their names to it.”

The Prime Minister, who believes the real estate component of the CBI Programme gives Dominica a chance to expand the economy in a practical and tangible way, praised Anichi Development for taking the initiative to bring a massive development, such as Anichi Resort & Spa to the town of Portsmouth. “This is something, which the government has been calling for Dominicans to be part of – empowering themselves to bring some diversification to the economy –  to create jobs; to create wealth for the citizens of Dominica.”

Skerrit, who referred to Lawrence’s actions to develop Anichi as “a genuine commitment, not only to the town of Portsmouth, but to the entire country,” volunteered his person to help market and push the project internationally, so that it can be realized as quickly as possible.

Although the official ground-breaking ceremony for Anichi Resort & Spa happened on February 7, work on the site actually began in 2017, and workers are currently engaged in laying the foundation for some of the resorts junior suites.

Anichi Resort, Dominica
L to R: Dr. Michael Lawrence, Director of Anichi Development; Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica; Mr. Brock Hochhalter, Area Director of Operations for the Caribbean and LatinAmerica, Marriot International

 

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interCaribbean announces Dominica to Tortola & St. Lucia Services

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interCaribbean Airways

Providenciales, Turks & Caicos (February 21, 2018) – interCaribbean Airways celebrating 26 years of continuous services, is pleased to announce new nonstop schedule services from Dominica to St Lucia and Tortola, with 1 stop easy connections via Tortola to St Thomas, St Croix, Sint Maarten, San Juan, Providenciales and Santo Domingo.

Travelers can make two-stop connections via interCaribbean flights to Kingston and Nassau.  Even allowing for two stops this is still one of the fastest travel times in the Caribbean.

Flights to and from Dominica begin on March 22 with 3 weekly flights as follows Schedule.

Flight # From – To Effective Until Days Depart Arrive
521 EIS – DOM March 22, 2018 November 3, 2018 Mon, Thurs, Sun 4:25 PM 5:45 PM
621 DOM – SLU March 22, 2018 November 3, 2018 Mon, Thurs, Sun 6:15 PM 6:55 PM
622 SLU – DOM March 22, 2018 November 3, 2018 Mon, Tues, Fri 9:00 AM 9:40 AM
522 DOM – EIS March 22, 2018 November 3, 2018 Mon, Tues, Fri 10:10 AM 11:30 AM

 

DOM = Dominica Douglas Charles Airport, EIS = Tortola Terrence B. Lettsome International Airport, SLU = St. Lucia – Castries International Airport.

interCaribbean has expanded its schedule to new points throughout the Caribbean connecting more of the Caribbean than any other Caribbean Airline.

CEO Trevor Sadler, stated “We are pleased to begin connecting Dominica with our Caribbean, bringing affordable air fares to this latest interCaribbean destination”.  We look forward to welcoming Citizens and Residents aboard and adding new connections and cities that Dominica can enjoy.

Mr. Colin Piper. Director of Tourism, Dominica welcomes the new service, stating “ interCaribbean is giving Dominicans new choices to fly to and from Dominica and more connections to more places, the service is very timely and very welcome.  We look forward to the launch and anticipation of service to further islands.”

Visit interCaribbean.com to learn more about the company and its operations.

About interCaribbean Airways

interCaribbean Airways Ltd. was founded as InterIsland Airways Charter Services in 1991.

In 2003 the Turks and Caicos Government started a push toward regional and international development and it seemed the time had come for the Turks and Caicos to have its own airline. A scheduled license was applied for and granted, and thus began an ambitious expansion project that involved adding international destinations and acquiring larger and faster aircraft. The company re-branded to become Air Turks & Caicos to serve key international destinations, with daily scheduled flights to cities in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Bahamas and Puerto Rico.

Currently we operates six 30 passenger Embraer 120 aircraft with equipped with lavatories, a galley and flight attendant service, 2 x Beech 99 aircraft , 1 x 9 passenger Britten Norman Islander, along with a King Air 200 aircraft and Cessna 401.  Returning back into the fleet is the Twin Otter aircraft expected to join in December 2015.

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IOM Recruiting and Building Capacity of Local Workers for Reconstruction

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ION
Local building practices. Photo source: CBN4

Press Release – The UN Migration Agency IOM is recruiting Carpenters, Contractors, Engineers and Architects, to assist in its reconstruction work in Dominica.

Field training is taking place this week in Colihaut, with newly recruited teams of local workers from the west-central communities between Dublanc and Morne Rachette.

These teams will start working immediately with the repair of roofs Morne Rachette. Soon we will move to the surrounding communities.

According to IOM Team Leader, Jan-Willem Wegdam “We need many contractors, skilled carpenters, and semi-skilled workers because we want to repair as many houses as possible before the coming hurricane season. The training is very practical, no classrooms, and focused on the skills to repair hurricane resilient homes.”

Interested workers can send or drop their resume (CV) to the IOM office on the 2 nd floor upstairs the FedEX office in Roseau or to the Village Councils representing the communities of Woodfordhill, Marigot, Wesley, Calibishie, Bense, Anse de Mai, Portsmouth, Glanvillia, Picard, Salisbury, St. Joseph, Layou Park, Morne Rachette, Colihaut, Dublanc and Bioche, where IOM will be working…

Photo source: CBN4

It is also possible to send a resume to djoseph@iom.int. Only the people pre-selected will be invited for an interview.

IOM is supporting the work of the Government of Dominica in providing assistance to the people that are really not able to restore their homes after Hurricane Maria in September 2017.

In addition to training for workers and beneficiaries, IOM will soon organize community information sessions, participate in radio call-in programmes and distribute leaflets with tips to build back better and safer, in close collaboration with the government and other humanitarian organisations that are repairing homes in Dominica.

“We need many contractors, skilled carpenters, and semi-skilled workers because we want to repair as many houses as possible before the coming hurricane season. The training is very practical, no classrooms, and focused on the skills to repair hurricane resilient homes.”

IOM will repair roofs and construct simple but strong houses for more than 1,000 families. We received funding from the people of the United Kingdom, the European Commission humanitarian agency ECHO, the government of Australia and China AID through UNDP.

For more information on the IOM and its work Call, Text or WhatsApp 285 0794 (Mondays to Fridays, from 9am to 5pm).

The IOM was established in 1951, and in 2016 became part of the United Nations as the first agency specialized in all areas of migration. Dominica became a member of the IOM in December 2017, bringing the number of member states to 169, with a further 8 states holding observer status and offices in over 100 countries.

IOM works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners to help ensure the orderly and humane management of migration, promote international cooperation on migration issues, assist in the search for practical solutions to migration problems and provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, including refugees and internally displaced people.

 

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Dominica Debate Team to Vie for Second Regional Title

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On the road to the Windward Islands Debating Competition

Take a look at how we've been preparing to represent Dominica at the 2018 Windward Islands Debating Competition! Thank you so much to everyone who has made the journey possible.

Posted by Dominica State College Literary and Debating Society on Monday, February 26, 2018

Last year the Dominica State College (DSC) emerged winner of the first debate competition among Community Colleges in the Windward Islands. Five DSC students participated in the debating competition at the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College in St Lucia and won big time!

The second edition of the competition is being held in St Vincent and the Grenadines on March 02 (today) and 03, 2018. The students are Tarrie Anselm, Jair Pendenque, Kareen George and Ashfred Morris. The team is being supported by Sagicor Life Inc. and its Agency Manager, Brenton Hilaire, said the company is pleased to be part of the venture.

“On behalf of Sagicor Life Inc. our team in Dominica is pleased to support the representatives of the Literary and Debating Society of the Dominica State College,” he said. “We view this as an investment in our community and also and investment in the future of Dominica.”

Lecturer at the Dominica State College Trudy Christian said that despite the challenges the team was able to receive adequate preparation for the competition.

“It is very demanding to prepare the way that they had to prepare although the preparations they had to make have been difficult of course due to our current situation in Dominica lack of electricity and lack of a constant or reliable supply of internet service but they have put in significant work,” said Christian (source: Dominica News Online).

The competition starts at 9:00 AM on March 2 and will be live-streamed at this link. The team needs your support and urges you to share this post with your social networks!

Best of Luck!

DSC debate team
“SVG, team Dominica has arrived! I really want to thank our numerous sponsors for making this journey possible!” Photo source: Trudy Christian
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