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E.C Loblack Bridge to be completed and opened by December 15th


The E. C Loblack Bridge is set to be completed and opened to pedestrians by December 15th 2018.

This was announced by Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit while doing a site visit to the bridge on Tuesday morning.

Mr. Skerrit noted that the bridge will be a replica of the West Bridge, at a cost of 6.5 million EC dollars.

He noted that the bridge was affected by Hurricane Maria, noting that the construction is seeking to make some adaptation done to the bridge to eliminate the possibility of what happened during Maria to happen again.

“So we are actually mimicking the style of the West Bridge was constructed last year, which withstood the forces of Maria, literally unscathed. This project is a cost of 6.5 EC dollars and we expect it to be completed in time on December 15th,” he noted.

He went on to say that while pedestrian access will be made possible sooner, in terms of motorable access, the bridge will be open by the 15th of December.

Mr. Skerrit went on to add that that the schedule is progressing on schedule, going on to commend the ministry of Public Works and the contractors.

“It’s a major undertaking there and the project is on schedule so I really want to commend the Ministry of Public Works for their oversight and for getting this done rather quickly, and also to the contractors for their usual diligence and their professionalism and their high quality of work,” Mr. Skerrit added.


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Electoral Office appoints five new Assistant Registering Officers

Electoral Appointments
Chief Elections Officer Ian Michael Anthony with new Assistant Registering Officers Kelma Warrington (middle) and Sasha Darroux (right)

The Electoral Office of Dominica is pleased to announce the appointment of five (5) new Assistant Registering Officers.

The appointments were made pursuant to Registration of Electors Act (Chap. 2:03) of the Laws of Dominica and will be retroactive as of July 1, 2018.

The five new officers join Registering Officers in all 21 constituencies, and their Assistant Registering Officers, in playing a pivotal role in the electoral process, serving as the primary point of contact for prospective electors, persons seeking to change their polling districts and also providing the Electoral Office with information regarding deaths within their particular district, which allows for regular updating of the register of electors.

Chief Elections Officer Ian Michael Anthony said, “The appointment of Registering and Assistant Registering Officers, under the Registration of Electors Act is very essential to the whole process of registration, transfers and of those officers reporting on deaths. And so the commission has appointed several officers in those capacities.”

Mr Anthony believes that it is in the public interest to make persons aware of whom the Registering and Assistant Registering Officers are in their district and constituency and that even if it was not traditionally done, a list of those officers, those who are new and those who have been officers previously, should be made available to the public.

“We normally would not publish the entire list of officers, except for those newly appointed persons. However, we are making a departure from the norm and we are going to very soon publish the names of all our Registering and Assistant Registering Officers as well as their respective polling districts,” Mr Anthony said.

He added, “That way, the general public will know exactly who they should contact, [and] in what area, where they need to.”

Preliminary Electors List
The preliminary registers of electors for 2018 have been posted for public viewing in every polling district in the State and can be inspected at the homes of the Assistant Registering Officers in each respective polling district, during reasonable hours.

Electors are requested to inspect the list and to bring any discrepancy they identify, to the attention of the Registering Officer for the constituency, the Assistant Registering Officer for the polling district, or the electoral office at Jewel Street, Roseau by October 29, 2018.

Objections and Claims
Objections to the inclusion of a person’s name in the register of electors for a polling district may be made by any person registered in that polling district.

The objection must be on the prescribed form, in the objector’s own handwriting. Where the objector is unable to write, the form must be filled in the handwriting of the witness.

Persons eighteen (18) years of age or over, who are otherwise qualified are entitled to have their names included in the Revised Annual Lists.

Forms can be obtained from the Registering or Assistant Registering Officers for the constituency or polling districts, respectively.

Objections or claims must be made to the Registering Officers, no later than November 19, 2018, so that amendments where necessary can be reflected in the Revised Annual List, to be published November 30, 2018.


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Vacancy Notices at DHTA


Two positions are currently vacant at the Dominica Hotel & Tourism Association – Office Administrator and Project & Membership Coordinator.

Office Administrator


Project and Membership Coordinator


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Val Ferry launches service in Dominica


A new company, offering sea transportation from the neighboring French islands, has launched its service in Dominica.

Val Ferry, owned by Gei and Claude Vala, two brothers who previously owned and operated Caribbean Ferries, docked at Longhouse, Portsmouth on Friday 3 August 2018.

The new catamaran is scheduled to traverse between Marie-Galante, Fort-de-France, Les Saintes and Dominica.

Manager and co-owner of VAL FERRY, Claude Vala told the inauguration ceremony at Longhouse on Friday that Val Ferry will operate flexible schedules to and from Dominica; one in the morning and the other in the afternoon.

Vala said this day trip schedule will facilitate its partnership with Norwegian Airlines so that its international passengers can travel to Dominica without overnighting.

“Access to Dominica has always been a challenge and by you being here it helps to alleviate that challenge and make access to get to Dominica easier,” Minister for Tourism and Culture, Robert Tonge said.

He welcomed Val Ferry and expressed delight with the vessel which he said is “very spacious, it’s very clean, it’s very new”.

“So I definitely look forward to working together with Val Ferry to ensure that we can make more persons aware of how to get to Dominica, it’s a lot easier to get to Dominica,” Senator Tonge said.

Val Ferry will be docking at Longhouse, Portsmouth and for Mayor of Portsmouth, Titus Francis, this is welcomed news.

He described it as “an indication of a ray of hope” and “a breath of fresh air” following the announcement of Ross University’s departure.

“Dominica is a country that is blessed with a lot of natural beauty but with the natural beauty comes with natural problems,” Mr. Francis said adding that two natural disasters; Tropical Storm Erika and Hurricane Maria were primary responsible for Ross’s departure, as indicated by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit earlier that day.

“I am convinced that at the end of every tunnel there is some light and all is not lost for Dominica, all is not lost for Portsmouth,” Mr. Francis said.

Further, he noted that, the introduction of a new ferry service between Portsmouth and Guadeloupe “is the beginning of a sign of new times to come, better times to come, better days to come for Portsmouth”.

The article was originally published on Dominica Vibes.

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Lecture to revisit Traditional Architecture Approaches for climate resilience

Fort Shirley survived Hurricane Maria

Press Release (October 3, 2018) – The Sixth Annual E.O. LeBlanc Memorial Lecture will focus on the techniques and designs of traditional Caribbean architecture and the role that a potential incorporation of these methods can have on Dominica’s efforts to “build back better.”

The lecture is being mounted by University of the West Indies (UWI) Open Campus Dominica and the Cultural Division on Thursday, October 4, 2018 commencing at 7:00 p.m. at the UWI Auditorium. This event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Lennox Honychurch, Historian, will present on the topic: “Resilience and Traditional Architecture.”

Dr. Honychurch’s presentation will focus the lessons we can learn from our rich tradition and culture over the centuries, particularly in the design of housing structures.

He will examine the various weather resilient and aesthetically pleasing details used by our forefathers that could possibly protect our properties in future calamities brought about by climate change.

House at Pointe Baptiste

The E.O. LeBlanc Memorial Lecture public lecture series forms part of the National Independence Calendar and focuses on cultural themes as a celebration of the life and work of Edward Oliver Le Blanc, Dominica’s first Premier. He was devoted to culture and was an avid reader and poet.

This is Honychurch’s second presentation in the Series, as he presented on the topic: “Edward Oliver Le Blanc and the Creation of Nationalist History” in 2013. Other previous presenters of this lecture series were Dr. Alwin Bully, Dr. Irving André, Professor Hazel Simmons-McDonald and Mr. Vladimir Lucien.

This post was originally published on Dominica Vibes.


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Prime Minister and Cabinet tour Anichi Resort and Spa Construction site


The Prime Minister of Dominica, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit and his Cabinet, were given their first tour of the construction site of Anichi Resort & Spa.

They toured the site on Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018 from 10 a.m.

This is the first time that the entire Cabinet has toured the property and receive a view of the progress being made on the intended five-star resort, since the beginning of construction.

Marketing Manager of Anichi Development said the construction of Anichi Resort & Spa began January, 2018 and is expected to be completed by the end of next year.

When completed there will be a total of 128 rooms, as well as pools, a ballroom, and a restaurant among other amenities.

Anichi Resort & Spa is an Autograph Collection hotel being built in Picard by Oriental Developers (Caribbean) Ltd. as part of Dominica’s Citizenship by Investment Programme.

This article was first published on Dominica Vibes.


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[PHOTOS] Independence & Reunion 2018 officially opens


The official opening of the 2018 Independence Season and Reunion will take place on Saturday afternoon.

Chief Cultural Officer Raymond Lawrence said the opening ceremony will take place at the Botanic Gardens and not the Windsor Park Sports Stadium as previously announced due to ongoing repairs there.

He encouraged Dominicans to come out and support the event which will take place on the cricket field from 5 p.m.

“It’s not that it will be a very long ceremony but we hope it will be exciting, it will be colourful and something that will help really memorialize forty years of independence.”

Lawrence added that the entire cricket grounds will be used as the stage as Dominica’s culture will be on display during the ceremony.

The ceremony will begin with speeches from government officials followed by “hundreds of performers from all over the island, coming out”, he said.

These include drummers, dancers, Ophelia Marie, Tasha P, Daddy Chess, Daryl Bobb, Ian Michael Anthony, the Kalinago performers as well as a carnival section displaying various costumes.

“So we hope that it will be a very exciting spectacle as we officially open the celebrations.”


This article was first published on Dominica Vibes.


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Four-day Kweyol Wandevou for Independence


UPDATE: Leading up to the WCMF 2018 the Government of Dominica is pleased to present to you Kweyol Wandevou! See you at the Botanical Gardens in Roseau, Dominica from October 22-25, 2018 for this exciting day time event! Lots to eat and drink, accompanied by exciting performances from 12pm-7pm daily. See you there!

A new day time event will be introduced for the 2018 Independence Season.

Creole Rendezvous is an initiative of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and will be held in October.

Earlson Mathew from the Ministry of Tourism and Culture said during the Dominica Festivals Committee weekly press conference on Wednesday, that the event will provide a platform for local bands and artists to show case their talent and also an opportunity to share and preserve seemingly endangered traditions to a large and diverse audience.

“From the Tourism stand point, what visitors spend on island will help increase revenue earned by all stakeholders as well as give these visitors the full creole experience,” Mr. Mathew said.

Creole Rendezvous will be a four day event with an assortment of daily themes in line with the Re-Discover Dominica Campaign.

The themes for the four day event will include ,day one rediscover fun, day two rediscover mystery, day three rediscover taste and  day four rediscover rhythm.

Creole Rendezvous will be held at the Botanical Gardens 22nd – 25th October, 2018 with an admission fee of five dollars.

The official flyer


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Dominican entrepreneur participates in US government-sponsored program

Lien Philogene-Norville is among 13 young entrepreneurs participating in the program

Dominican Lien Philogene-Norville is among 13 young entrepreneurs participating in U.S. Department of State’s Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Professional Fellows Program.

YLAI empowers entrepreneurs and civil society leaders to strengthen their capacity to launch their entrepreneurial ideas and effectively contribute to economic development in their communities.

Shawn Maille from Antigua and Barbuda; Christina Hunte, Corey Jackman and Phillip Kellman from Barbados; Lien Philogene-Norville from Dominica; Michael Thomas from Grenada; Shane Browne and Janeel Boone from St. Kitts and Nevis; Nyus Alfred, Johanan Dujon, Laurah John and Chadia Mathurin from St. Lucia, and Karen De Freitas from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, travelled to the United States to participate in the program.

They will take part in a four-week program from September 20 until October 23.

The 13 entrepreneurs joined their Caribbean and Latin American counterparts with the goal of expanding their leadership and entrepreneurial experience through fellowships at businesses and civil society organizations across the United States.

YLAI Fellows will build networks and lasting partnerships to attract investments and support for their entrepreneurial ventures.

This article was first published on Dominica News Online.


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White House selects former NECS student for prestigious scholar award

Jose Thomas
Thomas is a former NECS student and beneficiary of Marigot Development Corporation US study program

Former student of the North East Comprehensive School (NECS), Joseˊ Thomas, has been selected by the White House to be a 2018 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Competitiveness Scholar.

Thomas is a beneficiary of the Marigot Development Corporation (MDC) US Study Program and scholar’s award is part of a White House Initiative on HBCUs (WHIHBCU).

She was nominated by Dr. William Harvey, the President of her school, Hampton University, and the White House subsequently selected her as a scholar for the 2018/2019 academic year.

As part of this initiative, she is currently attending the 2018 WHIHBCU Conference in Washington DC.

It is intended that the HBCU Competitiveness Scholars will help form the next generation of leaders who exhibit and champion HBCU excellence.

The WHIHBCU select Scholars based on (i) Academic Achievement: established classroom performance; (ii) Civic and Campus Engagement: proven leadership to make a positive difference at their institutions and in their communities; and (iii) Entrepreneurial Ethos: demonstrated character to pursue new opportunities, despite limited resources, i.e., the “go-getter” or competitive spirit.

Thomas attended NECS, then the St. Margaret’s School in Virginia and is now a senior at Hampton University.

Jose Thomas
Jose Thomas (second left) with other scholars

She has been an exemplary student leader at both schools.

At Hampton University she was inducted into the prestigious academic international honor society for business, management and administration, Sigma Beta Delta and was selected to join the Teach for America Corps during summer 2018.

The MDC said, “We wish Joseˊ continued success as she approaches graduation at Hampton University and in the pursuit of graduate school, the next step on her academic journey.”

This article was originally published on DominicaNewsOnline.


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Kings of Cadence-lypso to Star at WCMF 2018


Press Release – Roseau, Dominica – (September 20, 2018): The Kings of Cadence-lypso, the legendary Midnight Groovers of Sout’ City, Grand Bay, Dominica will be among the star attractions on night two of the 20th edition of Dominica’s World Creole Music Festival when they perform at Festival City on Saturday 27th October, 2018, at Windsor Park Sports Stadium, Roseau, Dominica.

The Midnight Groovers boasts more than 40 years of grooving, representing the authentic roots music from Dominica will once again present their unique and distinctive sound to the World Creole Music Festival stage. Known for their hard-hitting, socially conscious lyrics and a sound that is as powerful today as it was 40 years ago, Groovers will excite and entertain its legions of cadence-lypso fans from far and near.

They are coming together to deliver another stellar performance from their large catalogue of over 35 albums and their many hit songs over the years. Led by the indomitable Phillip “Chubby” Mark on the bass or upfront, in association with his guitar and keyboard-playing brother, Marcel “Co” Mark, Groovers are among the greatest and most prolific Dominican musical groups of all time. The Grand Bay musical outfit is , impressive, versatile and equally entertaining. They have carved a niche for themselves in the annals of Dominica’s history and music culture for their legendary status and musical prowess.

Known for their hits such as Coco Sec, Milk and Honey, Ou Se Sa Ou lay, Ail Soucouer Sac Ou, Anita, Hypocrites, Angela, Babylon, Mandela and so much more, Groovers is coming from a successful tour of the United Kingdom and recent high level local performances. Cadence-lypso fans are sure to find the Groovers every bit as exciting, motivated and highly energized when they take to the stage on Night Two of the WCMF 2018.

For more information on the 20th Annual World Creole Music Festival, visit www.DominicaFestivals.com

For more information on Dominica, contact Discover Dominica Authority at 1-767- 448-2045. Or, visit Dominica’s official website: www.DiscoverDominica.com, follow Dominica on Twitter and Facebook and take a look at our videos on YouTube.


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Digicel partners with World Creole Music Festival as Gold Sponsor


Press Release – Roseau, Dominica – (September 20, 2018): Telecommunications giant Digicel is partnering with the Discover Dominica Authority and the Dominica Festivals Committee for the staging of the 20th Edition of Dominica’s World Creole Music Festival, scheduled to be held at Festival City, Windsor Park Sports Stadium, Roseau, Dominica, from Friday 26th to Sunday 28th October, 2018.

Marketing Executive at Digicel Dominica, Tyrella Alexander stated, “We are very happy to ….. announce officially that we are ready to support Dominica’s World Creole Music Festival again. This year, our contribution is valued at $200,000 that includes cash and in kind support.”

Events Director of the Dominica Festivals Committee, Marva Williams welcomed Digicel’s partnership for the World Creole Music Festival and praised the telecommunications firm for its many years of partnering with the DDA and DFC in the staging of the WCMF.

“We are extremely delighted that Digicel is once again coming onboard and sponsoring this year’s festival and making a difference with its support for the marketing aspects of the event. We are also pleased that Digicel’s regional brand ambassador Machel Montano will join us for an energetic soca performance at this year’s Festival”, she noted. “For us Digicel is more than a sponsor but a true partner whose support is critical to the overall success of the WCMF.”

Digicel has been a valued partner of the World Creole Music Festival since 2005.

For more information on the 20th Annual World Creole Music Festival, visit www.DominicaFestivals.com

For more information on Dominica, contact Discover Dominica Authority at 1-767- 448-2045. Or, visit Dominica’s official website: www.DiscoverDominica.com, follow Dominica on Twitter and Facebook and take a look at our videos on YouTube.


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Announcement: Removal of derelict vehicles [DSWMC]


The Ministry of Environment, Climate Resilience and Urban Renewal wishes to advise the general public that it is embarking on a derelict removal drive within Roseau City Centre.

Derelict vehicle means:

• Any abandoned or discarded motor vehicle: or

• Any motor vehicle stored or kept in a public place; and which is in such a dilapidated condition that it cannot be safely used for the purpose of transportation

This activity will be conducted through the Dominica Solid Waste Management Corporation and other stakeholders. Derelict vehicle owners are asked to contact the Corporation at 449-8168 should they require further assistance.

Owners are encouraged to take all the necessary steps in ensuring that their derelict vehicles are removed. Failure to do so will result in legal action taken against you.


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Announcement: Removal of white goods [DSWMC]


The Ministry of Environment, Climate Resilience and Urban Renewal wishes to advise the general public that it is illegal to dump bulky waste namely; White Goods (stoves, fridges, washing machines, television), Mattresses, Furniture etc.

Dumping means discharging of these waste items into the environment at a site or location other than an approved location permitted by the Ministry of Environment.

In an effort to maintain a clean environment and by extension a clean city and island, Commercial entities are therefore asked to make their own arrangement or contact the Dominica Solid Waste Management Corporation or the Roseau City Council in facilitating the removal of White Goods.

Failure to do so will result in legal action taken against you.


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Dominica Film in Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival


Press Release – Roseau, Dominica – (September 17, 2018): A film by Dominica filmmaker Alwin Bully will form part of the 13th annual Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival (TTFF) which runs from Tuesday September 18th – Tuesday, September 25th 2018. The Short Film entitled “Oseyi and the Masqueraders” received the Official Selection stamp of approval and is nominated for the Festival’s Peoples’ Choice Award. One hundred and five films of varying lengths, from 26 countries, will be screened at various venues in Trinidad and Tobago.

“Oseyi and the Masqueraders” will have its World Premiere at Movie Towne (Port of Spain) on Wednesday September 19th at 3:30pm with another showing at Movie Towne (San Fernando) on Monday September 24th at 1:00pm.

Work on “OSEYI” started three years ago when the script was selected for production by the New York based Caribbean Film Academy (CaFA) which attracted funding from TIMEWARNER of the US. The rest of the finances were raised by CaFA and locally by Kaz Kweyol Productions.

The film is a coming of age story set against the backdrop of the Colihaut Bann Mové carnival tradition. It was filmed entirely in the village of Colihaut with a cast of local actors led by 11-year old Pacquette Langlais, in the title role. Internationally acclaimed Jamaican actress Leonie Forbes makes a special appearance.

“Movie makers are the new story tellers of the modern world”, said Writer/Director Dr. Alwin Bully. “They celebrate our history and culture in new and exciting ways.” He also said that through film and television, audiences the world over learn of each other’s landscapes, culture and lifestyles, thus fueling the ever expanding tourism industry. He hopes that Oseyi’s inclusion and nomination in this year’s Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival will act as an incentive to other Dominican filmmakers to enter their narrative films and documentaries in the many film festivals that exist worldwide.

The Dominican screening of “Oseyi and the Masqueraders” will be announced at a later date.

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Fine Foods prepares for Tropical Storm Isaac

Fine Foods Inc

PRESS RELEASE – September 11, 2018 – With the potential threat of Tropical Storm Isaac bearing down on Dominica over the next couple of days, Fine Foods, the biggest distributor in Dominica, has put its hurricane contingency plan into high gear and has ensured that everything is in place to manage its businesses and the expectation of its customers, vendors and employees.

Primarily, Fine Foods has ensured that all of its vendors and customers are fully stocked with goods and ready to supply the general public with supplies.

Fine Foods Senior Management Team will continue to monitor and track the storm as it forms.

We are urging everyone to take all the necessary precautionary measures to prepare for the storm in the likelihood that it seriously affects our island.

Head of Distribution and Marketing of Fine Foods, Nathalie Walsh, comments: “We encourage the general public to stay safe. Ensure that you secure your buildings and are fully stocked with dry food, water and medical items.”


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In the eye of the Caribbean storm: one year on from Irma and Maria

Communities in Dominica are rebuilding with the help of the UN following devastation caused by the 2017 hurricane season in the Caribbean. © UNDP/Zaimis Olmos

This article was originally published on Reliefweb.int.

In September 2017, Primrose Thomas was at her home on Barbuda, when disaster struck: two Category 5 hurricanes, Irma and Maria, swept over the islands of the eastern Caribbean, wreaking chaos and destruction.

“The first time I came back, I didn’t know where to go. I couldn’t recognize anywhere. I had to ask for directions to my own house.”

Thousands of people in the region found themselves in the same situation as Primrose, and the UN played a major role in helping affected communities get back on their feet.

Click here for more first-hand accounts of the hurricane. UNDP November 2017

In this two-part report – one year on from the hurricanes – we look at the ways in which the Organisation provides aid to those in need and, in a world increasingly affected by the effects of climate change, is finding ways to make the region better able to withstand such events in the years to come.

Part 1: “A paradise turned into Hell”

This is how the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, described Barbuda in the aftermath of the storms:  “I have never seen anywhere else in the world a forest completely decimated without one single leaf on any tree…In every community, most of the buildings are destroyed or heavily damaged.”

Irma and Maria were “Category 5” hurricanes, described by the US Government’s National Hurricane Center Website, as winds reaching 157 miles per hour or higher, during which “catastrophic damage will occur”. Irma reached record-breaking sustained speeds of over 183 mph, longer than any other Atlantic hurricane on record.

The most severely affected nations were the two-island State of Antigua and Barbuda, and Dominica; but many other Caribbean islands suffered damage, including Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, The Bahamas, and Turks and Caicos Islands.

Haiti and St. Kitts and Nevis; St. Maarten as well as Cuba; the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, were also impacted.

On 6 September 2017, Antigua and Barbuda was battered by Irma, the first of the two mammoth Atlantic hurricanes tearing westward along Hurricane Alley, the name for the body of warm water that stretches from the west coast of northern Africa to the east coast of Central America and the Gulf Coast of the United States.

For the first time in its history, the entire population of Barbuda, some 1,600 people, was evacuated to the larger island of Antigua. Ninety per cent of homes and buildings in Barbuda were affected, 40 per cent of the roads were damaged, and the entire energy distribution network was destroyed.

Dominica also saw 90 per cent of buildings destroyed by the storms, affecting over 70,000 people.

In the aftermath of Irma and Maria, a UN-wide Crisis Management Unit sent waste management and debris removal experts into the affected areas, opening up roads, collecting garbage, and restoring the water and power networks. Emergency work programmes created temporary jobs and training for affected women and men, quickly injecting cash into communities.

Small businesses were given grants to help them to recover: On the Turks and Caicos Islands, the large majority of MSMEs (Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises) were severely impacted by the hurricanes, and the UN supported a wide range of businesses, from pest controllers and farmers, to taxi drivers and people renting out holiday homes.

Like 70 per cent of the inhabitants of South Caicos, Henry Handfield relies on fishing for a living. One of the 40 MSME owners selected for a hurricane relief grant, he says that the $550 received made an impact: “(My boat) was flipped upside down and one portion of it was broken off. The top of the engine was smashed up, the roof was destroyed…all I had was the hull of this boat.” Handfield recalls. “The help I got from UNDP (the UN Development Programme) was very helpful. I was able to take that and put with some other monies to remodel this boat.”

Financial support also came in the form of an innovative direct cash transfer scheme, which puts money directly in the hands of affected families. Run by the Government of Dominica, the programme is supported by UNICEF and the World Food Programme and funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. Between December and February 2017, it provided 8,000 of the most vulnerable families affected by Maria with monthly payments ranging between $90 and $239, depending on the number of children in the household.

Yvonne Hill Williams lives in Roseau, Dominica. A shopkeeper and foster carer who also looks after her five grandchildren, Yvonne lost all of her merchandise when the nearby river overflowed during Hurricane Maria. She found that the cash initiative came in handy during a difficult time: “We bought clothes, shoes, and a little shopping and groceries. You feel that you can buy certain things in town. It’s a good feeling…I appreciate it very much.”

In Dominica, the priority for women farmers was to be able to get back on their feet as soon as possible. UN Women facilitated this by providing seeds, labour and equipment to bring their farms back into production as soon as possible.

Eileen Lloyd, of the Bellevue Chopin Farmers Group in Dominica, is one of the beneficiaries. She described the support provided by UN Women as a blessing: “After Maria, it was very difficult to get seeds, and then we were promised some seeds and tools from UN Women and we appreciate them handing them over to us,” she said.

The organisation also worked closely with the UN Population Fund to provide displaced Barbudan women and girls with sanitary items not easily found in relief packages. They distributed “dignity kits”, containing basic health and hygiene products such as soap and sanitary towels.

One year on, the most vulnerable people affected – those with no income or insurance, single people and those with disabilities – risk getting lost in the system. The International Organization for Migration (IOM), has focused on helping the most at-risk communities.

IOM has helped hundreds in Dominica by reconstructing their homes. Wyzell Philogene, a single mother, spent almost a month sharing a space at a friend’s house, along with around 15 others. Her roof was ripped off, and she lost nearly all her belongings. Wyzelle qualified for IOM humanitarian assistance and, a week later, a brand-new roof was erected at no cost to her. She is now able to focus on making a living, through a landscaping job made available through the National Employment Programme, and she is making sure that she is prepared for the next hurricane season.

Wyzell is not alone in thinking about how to survive in the future: the UN’s longer-term planning and development teams have been working closely with emergency humanitarian workers from the very beginning of the crisis.

In part 2 of this special report, we will look more closely at the efforts underway to make the region more resilient, in the face of climate change and the likelihood of more frequent, and more extreme, natural disasters.


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Work steadily progressing on Kempinski Resort in Dominica


ROSEAU, Dominica — Local investment and hospitality company Range Developments has reaffirmed its commitment to Dominica and to complete the Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski on schedule.

The team on site has been working steadily and frequently late into the night to ensure what will be undoubtedly one of the finest hotels in the Eastern Caribbean that opens in the second half of 2019. The resort’s general manager has already been appointed and brings a wealth of operational experience with him.

There has been significant site progress over the last few months – hardwood roofs have been installed to most of the public buildings and external finishing work is nearing completion. Interior finishing work is underway. There is significant momentum on site and the resort is rapidly taking shape. There are over 450 people on site daily and this will rise upwards of 700 in the coming months.

Cabrits Resort Kempinski
Progress on Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski

In addition, in the coming months the details of Range’s Dominica hospitality training program will be announced, as well as, a series of job fairs. Details will be advertised in the local press.

The Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski is the first approved citizenship by investment project in Dominica. Its success will ensure Dominica is firmly cemented on the luxury tourism map and the economic impact of the resort is already being felt island-wide.

Range has a structured corporate responsibility program that has seen Range’s acceptance into the local communities in which it operates. Recently, Range has supported the reconstruction of the Dominica Women’s Centre, CALLs and the Cabrits Pier, as well as awarding a number of education scholarships.

Range Developments is an international property developer focusing on high-end hotel resorts in the Caribbean that are well-designed, sustainable and desirable.

Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinsi
Progress on Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinsi

Its flagship project Park Hyatt St Kitts opened to guests on 1 November 2017. This luxury resort has received multiple awards and has been widely recognized in the international media. CNN has singled it out as “the Best Hotel in the Caribbean”, with Forbes naming it “a grand Caribbean debut that was well worth the wait”. It has been included in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2018 hot list “Best New Hotels in the world”.

Range Developments will also start construction of a Six Senses resort in St Kitts later this year.

This article was originally published on Caribbean News Now.


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IOM reaches toward 600 houses covered after Hurricane Maria


Press Release (August 29, 2018) – Over 580 families who lost their roof and nearly everything else after Hurricane Maria have received assistance from the UN Migration Agency (IOM) to rebuild stronger, more resilient roofs.

An IOM contingent arrived in Dominica less than two weeks after the category five hurricane decimated Dominica on 18 September 2017, damaging or destroying 90 percent of the housing stock.

Almost a year after Hurricane Maria ravaged the tiny island, Dominica struggles to go back to normality.

Most of the country has been reconnected to the national water and power grids, schools have reopened, and the government is working to become the world’s first climate resilient country.

Notwithstanding, if the array of houses covered in tattered tarps, the piles of distorted galvanized sheets at many bends, or the ghosts of abandoned homes and businesses littered around the country are any indication, there is still a great deal of work to be done.

“Getting to this stage has not been easy,” says Jan-Willem Wegdam, Team Leader of IOM Dominica. “We have had to be creative to solve procurement issues, obtaining scarce building materials, recruiting skilled carpenters from the wider Caribbean because we simply did not have enough available workforce locally to implement the work. We have been working with many international and local organizations: Habitat for Humanity, ADRA, All Hands & Hearts, volunteer builders from the Mennonite community and, of course, our migrant carpenters.”

Emergency shelters still house families who have not been able to return to a normal life in what may remain of their homes. Many houses simply disappeared. Emergency shelters across the island were damaged, and most have not yet been repaired.

IOM has been able to assist with housing needs in 11 communities so far, repairing or re-building roofs and wooden core houses with funding from UK Aid, the European Commission humanitarian agency (ECHO), the Government of Australia, and contributions from ChinaAID via the UNDP. But even when the milestone of 600 families assisted is celebrated, there will still be room to do more. IOM has been collaborating closely with the Village Councils to try to ensure that the most vulnerable people get the help that they need.

The humanitarian agency is currently in discussions with potential donors to see if they can help meet some of the remaining needs.

IOM currently employs over 150 people across Dominica; only three are expats.

The economic impact in the communities is significant through wages and salaries, casual pay, rental of vehicles and accommodation, and procurement of goods and services.

With Dominica being one of its newest member states, IOM is building capacity for a long-term presence on the island, positioning to be an active partner to the government and people of Dominica in a quest to build better homes, communities, and lives across the island.

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Humanitarian agencies offer opportunities to learn basic carpentry

Natasha Daniels, Project Coordinator, Habitat for Humanity Trinidad & Tobago

Roseau, Dominica  (August 20, 2018) – IOM Dominica and Habitat for Humanity Trinidad & Tobago have partnered to provide Basic Carpentry Training for interested persons in the Commonwealth of Dominica.

The training is offered in collaboration with the Youth Development Division to increase the availability of semi-skilled local labour on the island to meet the current demand in the rebuilding process.

Training sessions will be held in the west and the northeast, where IOM currently works. The sessions will run for 10 days to provide the basic knowledge and hands-on experience necessary.

As a bonus, participants who perform well in the training can qualify for immediate employment with the IOM in its Housing Recovery Project, which aims to assist over 600 families in Dominica to recover safe housing with funds from the governments and peoples of the United Kingdom and Australia, the European Commission humanitarian arm (ECHO), and ChinaAID via the UNDP.

According to Community Engagement Officer for IOM, Maxine Alleyne-Esprit, “The construction industry is one where skilled workers and positive attitudes will be in demand for the foreseeable future. This is an opportunity for community members to expose themselves to the craft of carpentry, and open up alternative livelihood opportunities for Dominican men and women.”

The training is theoretical and practical, and all are welcome including women and the differently abled, and no previous experience is necessary.

Registration is being facilitated through the Village Councils in the western and northeastern districts, via the IOM-Dominica facebook page, and through the IOM Hotline at (767) 285-0794.

Project Manager of IOM, Nestor Girukwishaka, addresses the opening of the Introduction to Basic Carpentry training at St Joseph

The minimum age for registration is 17 years.

In the first week, basic grounding skills in the technical aspects of roofing will be taught – tools, measurements, parts of the roof, impact of hazards, building codes and more.

The second week will be in action-on-the-field, with the trainees working alongside experienced teams of IOM and Habitat for Humanity carpenters in nearby villages.

Participants will receive a weekly stipend if they attend all the sessions, and at the end of the program, successful trainees will receive a certificate and a toolkit so they can continue to work and practice the skill.

The first training session was launched on Monday August 20th in St. Joseph.

Training days are Mondays – Saturdays from 8am -3pm for two weeks.

Space is limited for this free training. People on the northwest and northeast interested to enroll for the opportunity to learn Basic Carpentry Skills should call or WhatsApp 285-0794 to register and get more information.


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