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Range Developments undertakes clearing of Segment 12 of Waitukubuli National Trail

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Range Developments – a local investment and hospitality company – has once again been at the forefront of efforts to revitalize areas of Dominica through its ongoing CSR program.

Over the past few months, the Range Developments team has been actively volunteering to clear debris from Segments 11 and 13 of the Waitukubuli National Trail which was devastated by the effects of Hurricane Maria and deemed unfit for use. The team is now stepping up efforts to fully undertake the clearing of another section of the trail – Segment 12.

This segment of the hiking trail is 13.5 km long and takes approximately 7 hours to complete. Categorized as a moderate to difficult hike, the trail winds through remote rural areas and gives hikers a rare glimpse of the communities that live there. Farmlands also exist in close proximity to Segment 12 and so the clearing of this part of the trail will greatly help the farmers who need access to it for their livelihoods.

Kamila Ondrackova, CSR Regional Manager of Range Developments said:

“We are proud to announce that Range Developments has undertaken further clearing of the Waitukubuli National Trail in the northern part of Dominica – namely Segment 12 which leads from Borne to Penville. Removal of fallen trees and other debris will enable the trail to re-open, making it safe again for hikers as well as easily accessible to the rural and farming communities who live alongside it.”

Segment 12 of the Waitukubuli National Trail

Unfortunately, like many other sites on the island, Segment 12 of the trail was damaged by the force of Hurricane Maria and has remained inaccessible ever since. Various types of equipment such as chainsaws and cutlasses are being used to aid in clearing the debris as well as pruning back overgrown vegetation.

Range Developments would like to encourage the local community to join them in restoring the beauty and functionality of the trail for all to enjoy. The meeting point for all volunteers who wish to get involved takes place every Sunday, 8am by the main Ross sign in Picard.

Range Developments plans to build upon their social responsibility efforts by further supporting worthwhile community projects and initiatives.

 

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NBD’S 40 Years, 40 Wins Lucky Winners Rewarded

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NBD Winners

PRESS RELEASE (April 10, 2018) – NBD rewarded its first lucky customers to win prizes under its grand anniversary giveaway promotion. Carol Jno. Charles of Belfast, Kordell Jean-Jacques of Roseau, Kish Ferrol of Paix Bouche and Johnson Thomas of Portsmouth each received gift vouchers from the Bank.

Carol Jno Charles captured the grand prize for the draw of a dinner and night for two at Sunset Bay Club.

Customers across Dominica have the opportunity to win exciting prizes from the National Bank of Dominica Ltd (NBD), as the Bank celebrates its 40th Anniversary.

The Bank unveiled its “40Years, 40 Wins Giveaway Promotion” during a press conference held last month to launch its anniversary celebration. The initiative was specifically designed to express gratitude to the Bank’s customers, and will run until
December 21, 2018.

During the promotion period, every customer who signs up for any NBD Product will get a chance to enter a draw. Draws will be conducted once a month and four lucky customers will be randomly selected and rewarded.

Mrs. Suzanne Piper, Executive Manager of Marketing at NBD, said that the promotion has been well received. “We encourage the public to open accounts, apply for the Bank’s financing facilities and sign up for our e-banking and other products to win amazing prizes. The promotion is being held at all our branches so retail customers from every part of Dominica can get a chance to win.”

Piper revealed that the Bank will undertake several activities to show appreciation to its various stakeholders throughout the anniversary year.

NBD congratulates the winners and says THANK YOU to its customers, shareholders and other stakeholders for contributing to the Bank’s success.

 

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PERSONAL PROFILE – Lowell ‘Omni’ Royer [VIDEO]

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"Art is life" - Lowell 'OMtNI' Royer | Artisanal

Lowell is a Dominican visual artist specializing in Dramatic Realism. He works with a wide range of mediums, from the canvas to wood burning to concrete and resin. Check out our interview for a glimpse into his mind. Who would you like to see on the next episode? Leave a comment below! Artisanal is a video series by Norris Francois Jr. that brings you the stories or artists in the region.

Posted by Norris Francois Jr. on Friday, April 6, 2018

Lowell is a Dominican visual artist specializing in Dramatic Realism. He works with a wide range of mediums, from the canvas to wood burning to concrete and resin.

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President Bill Clinton praises IsraAID’s work in Dominica

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Clinton Global Initiative
Former US President, Bill Clinton, in Dominica. (Photo credit: Norris Francois Jr)

Photo above: Former US President, Bill Clinton, in Dominica. (Photo credit: Norris Francois Jr)

IsraAID’s program in Dominica received a special mention from former US President Bill Clinton at yesterday’s launch of the Clinton Global Initiative Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery.

Speaking in front of Prime Ministers, CEOs & heads of humanitarian agencies, President Clinton pointed to the amazing work our team is doing rebuilding schools and homes on the island, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria.

IsraAID is working in Dominica alongside partners Digicel, UNICEF Eastern Caribbean and The Beverly Foundation.

Watch the video of President Clinton giving a shoutout to IsraAID here:

 

About IsraAID

IsraAID, founded in 2001, is a NON-PROFIT, NON-GOVERNMENTAL and APOLITICAL organization committed to providing life-saving disaster relief and long term support. For over a decade, our teams of professional medics, search & rescue squads, post-trauma experts and community mobilizers, have been first on the front lines of nearly every major humanitarian response in the 21st century.

 

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Bridging humanitarian needs with long-term development in Dominica

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UNDP development in Dominica

Six months ago, on 18 September 2017, Category 5 Hurricane Maria struck Dominica wreaking unimaginable disaster.

Thirty-one people died, 33 more remain missing. Roads, bridges, schools, hospitals and over 40 percent of homes were destroyed or severely damaged. Agriculture, a major source of income for poor people on the island, suffered tremendously: almost all crops were lost. The lush green forests, pride of this country and a UNESCO World Heritage site, were reduced to a barren, eerie landscape.

Five days later, I was at the General Assembly watching Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit deliver his address. “I come to you straight from the front line of the war on climate change,” he said, still visibly shaken. “To deny climate change is to deny a truth we have just lived,” he added, appealing for international support. I was moved by his words. I remember thinking: this speech should be shown in every classroom, boardroom, parliament around the world!

Much to my surprise, the following day my boss asked me if I’d be willing to go to Dominica to head the UN Crisis Management Unit (CMU), tasked with coordinating relief and recovery efforts on the ground. I had 24 hours to respond. Prime Minister Skerrit’s words reverberated in my mind. “These are the moments for which the United Nations exists!” he had said. And so I went.

UNDP Dominica
UNDP officials with local government officials and Chinese partners inspecting a new roof construction in March 2018. Photo credit: Zaimis Olmos/UNDP

The CMU configuration (UNDP-OCHA) reflected an innovative approach to crisis response, inspired by the New Way of Working agenda, which calls for humanitarian and development actors to collaborate from the outset of a relief operation to ensure that long-term recovery needs are addressed as early as possible. I was privileged to find exceptional colleagues on the ground from UN sister agencies (OCHA, WFP, IOM, UNICEF, FAO, PAHO), NGOs and regional entities. Sharing the same working space in a semi-destroyed hotel in Roseau, we forged a collaboration built on our respective strengths. We met government counterparts who admirably carried out their duties despite the situation. We drew inspiration from the determination of the Dominicans to rebuild their lives.

Shortly after my arrival, UN Secretary-General António Guterres came to visit, demonstrating the solidarity and commitment of the UN at the highest level. In the following days and weeks, thanks to generous donor support, the UN and partners distributed food, water, tarpaulins and other relief items. We set up logistics and communications facilities, assisted the authorities in reopening schools and hospitals, supported emergency employment for debris removal, and provided counselling and cash support to vulnerable people for basic needs and home repair.

The New Way of Working became a strong partnership based on a clear division of labour within the CMU. While my OCHA colleagues focused on emergency coordination, doing a phenomenal job, my UNDP team and I worked with the government to lay the groundwork for long-term recovery.

Barely a month after the hurricane, despite logistical challenges, a comprehensive Post-Disaster Needs Assessment mission was undertaken, in partnership with the World Bank and the European Union. It provided the basis for the recovery strategy presented at the UNDP-CARICOM High-Level Conference for the Caribbean in November, which yielded over US$2.5 billion in international pledges.

UNDP Dominica
Showcase of the ‘model roof’ and various roofing materials made its way across Dominica in February/March 2018. Photo credit: Zaimis Olmos/UNDP

Innovation was a key component of UNDP’s response. Jointly with the Ministry of Housing, we partnered with Microsoft – who donated tablets and designed a specific application – to undertake a comprehensive damage assessment that covered over 29,000 structures islandwide, generating key data for the reconstruction plan. We also pioneered a collaboration with international NGO Engineers Without Borders to help the Ministry of Planning rewrite the Housing Guidelines to enhance structural resilience and to carry out training/certification for over 400 contractors and engineers.

Thanks to grants from China and India, we initiated programmes for resilient roofing, while the EU and the UK supported our debris removal initiative, which provided temporary employment to hundreds of hurricane-affected Dominicans. We provided advice to the government on recovery planning and the creation of a National Reconstruction Agency for Climate Resilience, based on international best practices.

These are not, strictly speaking, humanitarian activities, but in the aftermath of a crisis they are instrumental for long-term recovery. The sense of urgency of the national authorities was palpable, and we were able to respond quickly because we were there from the beginning. This is what the New Way of Working is all about.

By the end of 2017, OCHA phased out and the CMU was dissolved, its mission accomplished. We had provided humanitarian support and helped lay the foundations for long-term recovery. I departed Dominica at the end of January to return to New York, but many colleagues stayed to continue the work.

Despite considerable progress, much remains to be done to restore normalcy in the lives of Dominicans. With another hurricane season coming fast on the horizon, there is no time to spare.

About the author

Luca Renda is Senior Strategic Advisor for the UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean. Follow him on Twitter: @lucarenda

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President Clinton Launches CGI Action Network on Post Disaster Recovery

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Skerrit and Clinton
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton with Roosevelt Skerrit, prime minister of Dominica, who is promoting rebuilding areas devastated by last year's hurricanes with resilient systems. Photo: Evan Garcia/UM News

Action Network will continue meeting quarterly with leaders from government, business, and civil society to continue work; Commitments to Action announced today include solarization of health clinics in Puerto Rico; mental health worker training; and resiliency investment funding in Dominica

MIAMI, FL (April 3, 2018) – Today, President Clinton formally launched the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery at the University of Miami, bringing together more than 350 leaders from government, business, and civil society to discuss and develop solutions that address immediate and long-term hurricane recovery needs facing the region.

Participants announced eight Commitments to Action – solutions that are new, specific, and measurable – focusing on a wide range of issues, including training for 5,000 mental health workers in Puerto Rico; deploying nurses to the U.S. Virgin Islands to conduct vision, hearing, and dental screenings for 9,000 schoolchildren; a comprehensive reforestation and habitat program that will plant 750,000 trees; a new agency in Dominica providing funding for resiliency projects; and solarizing 12 primary health clinics in Puerto Rico.

“In the wake of the terrible hurricanes, the people of these islands have shown a remarkable resilience and a resolve to do long-term work and build back better,” said President Clinton.

“When I went to Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Dominica, I was struck by both the determination and the positive attitude of the people there. We are here to do what we can to help these people build communities that are stronger, safer, more prosperous, and more resilient.”

“If we do not address the fundamental issues contributing to climate change, we’re going to see a greater intensity of disasters like Hurricane Maria and Irma,” said Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica. “If the world continues to fail to address climate change, we must not only build back better, but we must improve the national resiliency of our islands. This meeting of the Clinton Foundation is helping to ensure that our efforts to become the first climate resilient nation in the world are system-wide, integrated and coordinated.”

“Although these back-to-back storms were a great tragedy, there is now a tremendous opportunity to improve the future of the U.S. Virgin Islands,” said Tom Secunda, founding partner of Bloomberg L.P. “By bringing together such a wide range of people who share the common goal of finding innovative ways to help, The Clinton Foundation is helping us ensure we build back smarter, stronger and a more sustainable communities.”

“The Rockefeller Foundation is focused on bringing together public and private partners to help Puerto Rico recover and to support those who are working to build things back better than before,” said Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, president of The Rockefeller Foundation. “Together, we can reimagine a Puerto Rico that is more equitable, resilient to shocks and disasters, and provides opportunity for all of its residents in good times and bad.”

At the meeting, President Clinton and leaders from business, government, and civil society announced eight Commitments to Action that address a wide range of recovery and resiliency issues facing the region.

Commitments To Action Announced Today

  • The Government of Dominica has committed to launch a climate resiliency agency (CREAD), dedicating $600 million in funding to implement resiliency projects, with the goal of making Dominica the first climate resilient nation in the world.
  • The American Federation of Teachers has partnered with Airlink and the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands to bring nurses to conduct vision, hearing, and dental screenings for all 9,000 schoolchildren on the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • Afya Foundation has committed to addressing the urgent medical needs of the elder population in Puerto Rico, by shipping immediate medical supplies and equipment to Acción Social’s 22 Elder Care centers, while providing training and capacity building to Acción Social staff.
  • Para la Naturaleza (PLN) has committed to launch Habitat, a comprehensive reforestation and habitat restoration program in Puerto Rico that aims to plant 750,000 native and endemic trees that are more resilient to natural phenomena such as hurricanes, and provide assessment and maintenance of newly planted areas.
  • Americares has committed to address mental health challenges in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria by providing training for 5,000 health workers, emergency responders, and social service providers across the island.
  • International Medical Corps has committed to support primary healthcare for school-aged children in Puerto Rico by procuring an additional Mobile Medical unit for Med Centro, allowing them to reach an additional five elementary and middle schools with comprehensive preventive health screenings, and providing training and capacity building to all Med Centro staff.
  • Digicel has committed to repair or rebuild seven schools and 360 homes in Dominica that were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Maria, while also training 100 community members in building techniques and provide community workshops on risk mitigation and disaster preparedness.
  • Direct Relief, the Hispanic Federation, The Solar Foundation, and New Energy PR have committed to install solar or solar + storage systems at 12 primary care clinics in Puerto Rico, meeting critical energy needs at each site.

Full commitment summaries are below.

President Clinton also announced a Commitment to Action in development, issuing a challenge to members of the Action Network to pre-position relief supplies for the upcoming hurricane season. With estimates that every $1 spent on preparedness saves $4 in response and recovery spending, pre-positioning relief supplies, and establishing logistics and distribution channels, can help resources be deployed more efficiently in the event of a disaster. CGI is bringing together Action Network members who can lend their resources, materials, expertise, and support to a broad effort that already includes engagement from Operation Blessing, Airlink, Federal Surplus Company, Solight, J/P Haitian Relief Organization, Americares, and World Central Kitchen.

 

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‘Paint, Smile, Create’ by Miss Teen Dominica 2017

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Paint, Smile, Create

Roseau, Dominica (March 31, 2018) – To strengthen memory and motor skills and foster creative growth, all of which improves one’s quality of life, Miss Teen Dominica 2017, Cheyenne Dewhurst used one of her passions and hosted a positive art event called, A-R-T Attack, at the La Flamboyant Hotel on Thursday March 29, 2018 under the theme “Paint, Smile, Create”, with Attainea Toulon as the Guest Instructor.

Cheyenne Dewhurst and Attainea Toulon
Miss Teen Dominica 2017, Cheyenne Dewhurst (l) and Art instructor, Attainea Toulon (r)

Ms. Dewhurst aims to obtain a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the California College of the Arts in the future and the event was used to continue igniting that goal. With twenty (20) participants in attendance, the event was very successful because it stimulated communication, increased creativity and open-mindness whilst learning something new, and that brought out more confidence among the participants.

“I love creating things with my hands and using paint to express my uniqueness without having to use words. I already possess a range of paintings and intend to transform this passion into a career. Creating art stimulates communication between various parts of the brain and that is what we are doing here this evening.” Miss Dewhurst remarked in her welcome.

A-R-T Attack was sponsored by Perky’s Pizza, Clifftop Cleaning, A.F. Valmont & Co. Ltd and Excel Marketing Services. Ms. Ellisa James representing the Social Centre Adolescence Skills Training Programme, one of the young ladies vying for the title of Miss Teen Dominica 2018 was also in attendance. The show takes place on Saturday April 14, 2018 at the Old Mill Cultural Centre.

Miss Teen Dominica 2017
The group hard at work on their paintings

 

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Trainee Cook Needed! – Hibiscus Valley Inn

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Hibiscus Valley Inn

Hibiscus Valley Inn is looking to hire a trainee cook for their night kitchen. This person must be willing to over-night at the guest house.

For more information contact management at hibiscusvalleyinn@gmail.com or WhatsApp (473) 416-9070.

Read more about Hibiscus Valley Inn’s voluntourism package.

About Hibiscus Valley Inn

Hibiscus Valley Inn is a Swedish owned guesthouse with three ”Nature bungalows” in Dominican country style; each containing two rooms and a wonderful veranda. They are situated in a peaceful and calm area next to the beautiful Pagua river and the rain forest.

 

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PMH receives donation from Darrel Toulon and Friends

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Darrel Toulon and Friends

The Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) received a donation of about €31,000, equivalent to XCD $99,000.00 from Darrel Toulon, a prominent Dominican based in Austria.

The accomplished ballet dancer in December 2017, organised a Charity Gala, “Darrel Toulon and Friends Benefit Gala for Dominica”, in Graz, Austria which raised the funds for the Hurricane Maria ravaged country.

Darrel with over forty International Artistes performing various genre from Classical to Gospel and Rock Music, Song and Dance presented over two hours of solid performance to a huge gathering Graz.

In a letter to the Ministry of Health and Environment, Toulon stated, “There were fellow Caribbean artistes: Melba Ramos from Puerto Rico, Miguel Rodriguez from Cuba, and our very own Dominican Sade Bully. Also on stage were Marialena Fernandes from India, Xianghui Zeng from China, Jessica Moretto from Brasil. All coming together to perform without pay on Tuesday the 12th of December, 2017. These Artistes all work in Austria, and who have made a connection to Dominica through working with me.”

Darrel Toulon
Darrel Toulon is a world-renowned dancer who was born in Dominica in 1964. He is based in Austria.

He specified further, “With some effort on my part, all these Artistes met in Graz specifically for the Gala, and gave performances of highest quality. The involvement of the Business Sector, Private Donations, Politicians and the Gastronomy- and Hotel-Industry of the City of Graz, for one night our Country was in the spotlight.”

The money will be used for the procurement of equipment for the Blood Bank which was destroyed by Hurricane Maria in 2017.

Items for procurement for the Blood bank include, Couches, refrigerator, shaker, Cold centrifuge, Freezer ID, centrifuge Platelet, agitator and a Reverse Osmosis System.

In a response letter to Toulon, PMH Hospital Services Coordinator, Clayton Bryan, expressed thanks and gratitude on behalf of the Government of Dominica, the Ministry of Health and Environment, the management team of the Princess Margaret Hospital, together with the staff and patients.

“I do hereby extend our deepest appreciation for the hard work and team effort that was expended by Darrel Toulon and friends in hosting the “Darrel Toulon and Friends Benefit Gala for Dominica, after Hurricane Maria” in December 2017,” he said.

The funds were deposited in a special account at the National Bank of Dominica.

 

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Government of Dominica earmarks $15m investment into geothermal project

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Geothermal plant in Dominica
Drilling rig on project site, Dominica (Source: Enorca)

The Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica has earmarked $15 million as investment in 2018 for the development of a geothermal power plant.

Earlier this month representatives of the World Bank visited the Caribbean island state of Dominica to assess the damage done to the plant by Hurricane Maria and to strategize the way forward for the project. Part of that World Bank delegation, Chairman of the Geothermal Negotiating Team, His Excellency Dr Vince Henderson revealed that the Geothermal Development Programme is progressing satisfactorily despite the impact of the hurricane.

He noted that the partners who have come on board with this project have recommitted their support for its advancement.

“The UK DFID continues to provide support to the geothermal power plant to the tune of GBP8.5 million (US$12 million); SIDS DOCK funds have already been confirmed and approved and are with the World Bank; our partners from New Zealand continue to provide technical support and financing for technical support which allows us to develop the actual design of the plant and have provided us with a Project Manager from New Zealand…,” he said.

Work on the plant should commence by the end of this year into early 2019 he said and should be completed by the 2020.

“Unfortunately, Maria intervened, and it has pushed us four to six months down the road but still in light of the circumstances, that is amazing. Being able to deliver a plant by mid-2020 would be a great achievement for the government and people of Dominica,” H.E. Henderson said.

He reaffirmed government’s commitment that the plant would provide a source of energy that is a lot more affordable for Dominicans.

Representative of the World Bank says the bank is proud to support this project and is also pleased to work with the Government of Dominica.

In this financial year government allocated $40.5 million (US$15 m) for the commencement of the geothermal plant.

 

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LIAT implements new security measures for passengers to US and territories

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PRESS RELEASE (Roseau, Dominica) – As of 27 March 2018, passengers using LIAT flights to the USA and its territories will experience added security measures. These measures are in line with updated Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulations.

Passengers traveling to the US territory of Puerto Rico (and St. Thomas as of July 1st) on LIAT will encounter new and enhanced security measures for checked bags, hand luggage and personal electronic devices (PEDs) such as laptops, iPads, and tablets at check-in and boarding gate. A short security interview is also a part of the new security measures.

These new security measures affect all airlines operating direct commercial services to the USA and its territories.

LIAT, therefore, advises all passengers traveling to the USA and its territories to arrive at the airport two hours prior to departure to ensure they have sufficient time to satisfy all other airport and airline formalities.

 

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Clearing Segment 1 post Hurricane Maria

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The Waitukubuli National Trail Management Unit extends warmest gratitude to Mr. Ibrahim Brohim (Sign Man) and Mr. Simon Walsh, the organizers of the trail-clearing crew who completed the clearing of Segment One on Saturday, March 17, 2018!

Thank you to the entire crew for your vibrant energy & community spirit applied in successfully clearing the entire segment!!

Using chainsaws, cutlasses and other hand tools, the team set out to clear tough areas covered with fallen trees and forest, including the danger of rock slides in November 2017.

On November 25th, the group completed the section from Gallion Road to Bois Cotlette Road.

On March 9-10th, they were able to complete the section from Scott’s Head reaching the point where Tropical Storm Erika had caused previous damage to the trail.

On the final day, March 17th, the group completed trail clearance from the diverted section up the mountain, where ropes had been placed, all the way up to the French Quarters.

Additional days were utilized in between for assessing trail works prior to continuation. The group consisted of members of the Dwivayez Hiking Club, community members and the organizers.

According to Mr. Brohim, “what we did is because we love and care for the trails hoping that as a hiking club who has benefited tremendously from the trails, we can give back to getting the trails to what they were pre-Maria.

Besides myself, Simon Walsh played a big part as we both went together on trips to assess the trail to see how much damage was done and what we would need to prepare ourselves for the clearing.”

While Segment One may be accessible, it is still not officially opened by the Trail Management Unit as there are extremely difficult sections due to the danger of rock slides.

It is intended that additional ropes be placed in unstable areas to assist hikers in their safety. The general public will be officially informed on this and any future segment openings. We appreciate your patience as we continue working on opening the trails.

 

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Government announces extension of the waiver of Import Duty on Building Materials

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PRESS RELEASE (Roseau, Dominica) – The Government of Dominica hereby informs the general public that Cabinet has approved an extension of the waiver of import duty on the following building materials, imported privately and commercially, for the period March 20, 2018 to June 19, 2018:

Blocks Cement Lumber
Plywood Tiles (floor, wall, ceiling) Galvanize, capping, guttering
Steel rods Pipes and fittings Sanitary ware (bath sinks, lavatories, wash basins, bidets, etc.)
Doors and frames (steel frame and sheet rock) Windows and frames Water tanks
Nails Screws Electric lamps and lighting fittings
Locks Hinges Water heaters
Paint Varnish Solar panels (and accessories)


*The standard process from clearing of all items at the Port will continue to be observed.

 

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PERSONAL PROFILE – Lynton Scotland

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Lynton Scotland, Dominica
(l-r) Ron Parker-Lynton Scotland-Dmitri Stockton-Ron Busby and Jeff Webster at the Gathering of Pan African Leaders. (Photo credit: Clark Bailey Photography)

During his career, Lynton Scotland has held several senior positions with major US corporations, including Hercules, DuPont and NRG Energy Incorporated, and was co-founder of Sustainable Star, an energy company.

He is a member of the University of Dayton board of trustees and was named one of Savoy Magazine’s Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America, an annual list recognizing leading African-Americans in business and industry.

As the Procurement and Logistics Leader at W.L. Gore, he is responsible for Sourcing strategy and execution of the company’s global spend. Scotland holds a BSCHE in Chemical Engineering from the University of Dayton, MS in Statistics from Rutgers University and MBA from the University of Pittsburgh. Lynton was born in the Commonwealth of Dominica and grew up in St. Croix, USVI.

The following interview was found on the Savoy Network, a cultural catalyst for the African-American community—a magazine that showcases and drives positive dialogue on and about black culture.

What is your greatest impact on the University of Dayton?

Something I’ve been very passionate about is increasing diversity on campus in five areas: student, faculty, staff, board and spend, encouraging the University to do more and create the environment and opportunities for all students, faculty and staff to benefit from a diverse and inclusive campus. I am also very passionate about cultural immersion through the University’s ETHOS (Engineers in Technical Humanitarian Opportunities of Service-Learning) program. We send engineering students to Africa, Costa Rica, India, etc. to help in projects, such as bringing water or solar light to a village or community.

How has the program impacted these engineering students?

Lynton Scotland
Lynton Scotland, Chief Procurement Officer, W.L. Gore & Associates (Photo source: Dominica News Online)

This program enables students to live and work in a different culture and learn as an engineer, not only to make money, but really contributing to humanity. Four years ago, we launched the ETHOS program in the Caribbean Island of Dominica, where I was born. For one project, the students used their engineering skills to help a community Co-op improve the yield of coconut oil by 30%. With the recent hurricanes, which significantly impacted Dominica, families of the engineering students were calling me to ask what they could do to help the families who hosted their children. That was nice to see the impact of the relationships they developed with the community.

What is your vision for moving the ELC forward via the Community Impact Initiative?

The ELC is an organization of senior-level African-Americans who have the capacity and responsibility to do a lot to help our community. I view it as our responsibility because “to whom much is given, much is required.” It’s about what we can do to help the less fortunate, to lift up the community, to identify academically gifted, economically disadvantaged students who would not have such opportunities. That’s what Community Impact is all about – making a difference in our community. In order to grow the number of African-Americans in corporate America, we have to increase the pipeline. So, we partner with organizations like LEAD (leadprogram.org), ABC (abetterchance.org), INROADS (inroads. org), NSBE (nsbe.org) and HBCUs and help fund programs to expand the pipeline.What is your vision for moving the ELC forward via the Community Impact initiative?

How did you get involved with Urban- Promise?

When I was working at Hercules, I met Rob Prestowitz, a white male business leader. While living in Brazil, he was struck by the aspect of poverty and came back with a burning passion to help inner-city youth. With a highly promising career, a wife and three kids, he left his corporate life to start UrbanPromise Wilmington. People thought he was crazy. Reflecting on the success of UrbanPromise Wilmington the past 20 years, he had it right all along. UrbanPromise partners with churches and volunteers to build safe places for kids to go after school. Interns (mostly white) from around the world come to work in this program and must live in the community in the “intern house” so they see firsthand what life is like there. High schoolers, called “StreetLeaders”, serve as role models for the younger kids. This cadre of leaders can tell the next generation, “I know what you’re going through, but I made it. So, you can too.”

Can you share a success story?

Ronald Jones was one of the “StreetLeaders” in UrbanPromise whom I had the privilege of tutoring and mentoring. He was not only smart, but also very respectful. An only child being raised by a single mother and grandmother, he came from one of the toughest neighborhoods in Wilmington, Delaware. Through the ELC grant to LEAD, he got the opportunity to attend the University of Pennsylvania Wharton summer program during his junior year. Ronald earned a full scholarship to the University of Delaware and interned at DuPont and Morgan Stanley. He graduated with honors last year and currently works in New York for Morgan Stanley. The mission of the ELC Community Impact initiative is to quadruple the number of “Ronald Joneses” in the pipeline. When you see a Ronald Jones, the return on that investment is priceless.

 

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Dominicans collaborate to Publish Children’s Book ‘Once Upon a Time in Dominica’

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Dominicans, Dr. Dale Dangleben and Zenita Lee, have collaborated on a project which resulted in the publication of a book called ‘Once Upon a Time in Dominica,’ which is also accompanied by a coloring book. The book is meant to capture the activities of their childhood in Dominica.

Zenita Lee from Grand Bay
Zenita Lee is hospice nurse and occupational therapist assistant in Florida. (Photo source: Dominica News Online)

Zenita Lee was born and raised in Grand Bay. She spent nineteen years there before migrating to the United States. She attended Wesley High School and became a teacher at the Tete Morne Primary School for two years. She has a firm belief in imparting knowledge on the young minds. Currently, Zenita works as a hospice nurse and occupational therapist assistant in Florida. Her faith in God has been her rock and life.

Dr. Dale Dangleben was born and raised in Pointe Michel where he attended the St. Luke’s Primary SchooI. He then went on to the St Mary’s Academy (SMA) and then Sixth Form College (SIFOCOL). After a few years of teaching at SMA he migrated to the U.S and attended Hunter College in NYC. Subsequently, he went on to medical school at Penn State University College of Medicine. Currently, Dr. Dangleben is the trauma medical director at a trauma center in Pennsylvania.

Dr. Dale Dangleben is the trauma medical director at a trauma center in Pennsylvania. (Photo source: Dominica News Online)

Zenita Lee and Dale Dangleben met while on a medical mission to Dominica two weeks after hurricane Maria. They came down to deliver medical care where needed. The devastation to Dominica was heartbreaking and overall emotionally taxing on both of them. Upon return to the States, they decided to collaborate on this project as they reflected on their childhood growing up in Dominica.

“We did this work for the children of Dominica and the Caribbean as a whole,” the authors said in a statement. “This is meant to remind us of who we are and where we came from. No matter where we go these traditions and culture should always be a part of who and what we are. The world is forever changing before us and that’s ok and its fine to accept and embrace change as long as it’s for the better. However, don’t lose yourself in the journey and forget the roots.

We want the children of the current generation to understand and appreciate the foundation that has been set and should not be lost. The technology around us may have changed but the discipline at the core should not be compromised. Take this trip with Zenita and Dale back in time in the Caribbean to the timeline of their childhood. God Bless Dominica.”

The collection also has a coloring book with educational activities.

Buy the book on Amazon

Buy the coloring book on Amazon

 

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Le Petit Paris – Open for Business!

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Le Petit Paris in Roseau, Dominica

Le Petit Paris is a French bakery and restaurant that was located on the Alliance Francais compound near Bath Estate.

Now located on the Bayfront (on the corner of Kennedy Avenue and the Dame Eugenia Boulevard, in what was once Cocorico Cafe), the restaurant re-opened for business this week!

They’re open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM from Mondays to Thursdays, and on Fridays they open from 9:00 AM and close at 5:00 PM. The restaurant does not open on the weekends.

Go enjoy their homemade quiches, croque monsieurs, saussage rolls and pizza slices. They offer a variety of other meals as well, including assorted styles of burgers and salads. Or call for details: (767) 317-3333.

Check out these photos below to see their new menus and sample dishes from Le Petit Paris!

 

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Dominica Observes World Water Day 2018

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World Water Day 2018

Once again Dominica joins the rest of the world in the observance of World Water Day.

Every year on March 22nd, the international community pause to focus attention on this important, life-giving but finite commodity called water. This year the theme chosen by the United Nations for the observance of WWD is “Nature for Water”.

The intention therefore is to bring into focus the many challenges mankind faces in sourcing water. The research also states that “damaged eco-systems affect the quantity and quality of water that is available for human consumption”.

It is estimated that 2.1 billion people live without safe drinking water at home. Thus the impact on human life is significant. The impact of water scarcity on health, education and livelihoods are just a few of the issues that world governments have to address in the interest of safeguarding the well-being of their citizens.

As the observance takes place on that day (March 22nd) and the days ahead, here are a few facts about world’s water supply.

  1. 844 million people are living without access to safe water, while 2.3 billion people are living without access to improved sanitation
  2. Each year 1 million people are killed by water, sanitation and hygiene related diseases
  3. Ninety-five percent of water used daily is wasted
  4. The world’s total water supply equates to 332.5 million cubic miles
  5. In 2015, the United Nations agreed to a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals to be achieved by 2030 for the improvement of water

Quotable Quotes

“Thousands have lived without love, not without water” – W.H Auden

“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water’. – Loren Eisley

“Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.” Lao Tzu

“Water is the driving force of all nature.” – Leonardo da Vinci

“For many of us, clean water is so plentiful and readily available that we rarely, if ever, pause to consider what life would be like without it.” Marcus Samuelsson

Here in the Dominica the impact of water scarcity was felt in the days, weeks and even months following the passage of Hurricane Maria on September 18th 2017. Even as Dominica joins the rest of the world in this observance, there are a few more communities without that essential resource delivered at their home.

Water in Dominica
A natural spring on the Trafalgar Falls trail. (Photo credit: Yuri A. Jones)

The cost of restoring the service up to 96% costed the utility in excess of $12,000,000.00. Even then the service is still very susceptible to the vagaries of inclement weather patterns. It will require in excess of $40,000,000.00 to build the type of resilience for the sector that can mitigate the impact of these destructive storms.

Another major consideration for the optimal management of our resources is the existing, denuded landscapes. As a consequent, the water courses (rivers) are exposed to the sun’s rays, resulting in accelerated transpiration and so we lose hundreds of thousands of gallons of water every day to the atmosphere.

Notice too the prolific growth of algae in many of our rivers. This s as a direct result of the increased exposure to the sunlight. This massive growth of algae has the effect of lowering the oxygen levels in the water and its attendant impact on the aquatic life as well as a lowering of the quality of water for human use. We need therefore, to bring back the lost forest cover for all the benefits it provides, not least the reduction of evapo-transpiration.

So the lesson for the observation of WWD in Dominica is clear for all of us.

  • We must act collectively to safeguard the well-being of our rivers.
  • We must resist the temptation to waste water and to use this important natural resource in a judicious way for the benefit of mankind.
  • We must all remember that this is a finite resource. Meaning? It can he exhausted. Once lost it will cost us the hundreds of millions of scarce resources, we do not have, or that we need for other development purposes, to produce potable water in the quality and quantity that is needed.

Water is life. Let us therefore cherish it.

 

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DHTA and NY Donor Team up to Provide Equipment for Combine Taxi Association and Wesley High School

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Dominica Hotel and Tourism Association (DHTA)

ROSEAU, Dominica (March 21, 2018) – The Dominica Hotel and Tourism Association (DHTA) has donated office equipment to the Wesley High School (WHS) and the Combined Taxi Association to assist with rehabilitation efforts post Hurricane Maria. Over the past six months DHTA has lobbied on behalf of private sector organizations for the procurement of resources to support institutions with the restoration of business operations.

Ivy Raff in Dominica
Ivy Raff, hiking enthusiast, friend of Dominica and now proud donor. (Photo source: PRAG Dominica)

Soon after Maria, the DHTA was contacted by a teacher at the WHS to help the institution recover from the vandalism that ensued after the Hurricane’s passage.

On Monday, 19 March, DHTA Executive Vice President, Kevin A. Francis presented the Wesley High School with two projectors donated by backpacker, hiker and longtime friend of Dominica, New York Native, Ivy Raff.

Acting Principal of the Wesley High School, Hilarion Akpa said: “We didn’t expect DHTA and support us after Maria. We are really, really delighted. Mr. Francis is concerned with the education of our children and we are very, very happy to have them [DHTA] with us.”

“This is a great step along the road to resiliency,” Francis commented. “There is a high emphasis placed on the investment in our youth and to create developmental opportunities for them to create positive change. The DHTA and myself would like to thank Ms. Raff for her support. It is through kind gestures such as these that go a long way in the minds and hearts of our members and people.

Tourism still remains a vital sector in our economy and the DHTA is committed to delivering that message to its members and the country.”

The association also presented computers to the Combine Taxi Association, also donated by Ms. Raff, as well as Jolly’s Pharmacy to resume business after major damage to their work offices caused by Maria forced the association to stop operations and lay off staff.

Kevin Francis
Kevin Francis, Executive Vice President of DHTA (Photo source: LinkedIn)

Francis said: “Combine taxi association plays a vital role in the delivery of our tourism product. There is not doubt that their continued operation is for the benefit of the entire industry. We have also extended our offices as a temporary work space while they reassemble their membership strength. This is a win for the tourism industry.”

DHTA understands and appreciates the value of each stakeholder to Dominica’s tourism product. More so, the development of youth, their contribution to the tourism industry and DHTA’s level of member representation. Mr. Francis added that “although we may not be able to tangibly assist all industry participants, we are aggressively pursuing their interests and checking in with them and their issues on a regular basis to spot opportunities to help and connect businesses to solutions.”

 

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Major upgrade to Peebles Park part of Tourism Ministry’s short term plans

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Peebles Park, Dominica
Peeples Park two days after Hurricane Maria (September 20, 2018)(Photo credit: Yuri A. Jones)

Project Officer in the Ministry of Tourism and Urban Renewal, Daryl Titre, has revealed that an upgrade to the Peebles Park forms part of the ministry’s short term plan for Roseau.

Titre who on Tuesday 20 March 2018, was a guest on Vibes Radio as part of a panel discussion, said Roseau is one of the leading in the world in terms of green spaces. He added that as the country moves into urbanization, green spaces should form an integral part.

Therefore, the Ministry of Tourism he said is making preparations to upgrade the Peebles Park into an urban green space.

Peebles Park, Dominica
Peeples Park two days after Hurricane Maria, September 20, 2018. (Photo credit: Yuri A. Jones)

This upgrade will see improvements to fencing, the gazebo and the general landscape and they are working alongside the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The upgrade of the Peebles Park should include the upgrade of the Cenotaph area, he said.

Titre noted that landscaping the Peebles Park is one important aspect of the upgrade.

“You’re looking at planting new species of trees, creating sitting spaces, lighting and… better fencing. So it gives the Peebles Park a better feel, so people can go there and relax; not just a place because it has some grass and a few trees…We want to create a more relaxed area in the Peebles Park; not only for the tourists but our locals as well,” Titre explained.

Upgrades to other green spaces within the Roseau area such as the Botanic Gardens, Morne Bruce and Jack’s Walk, also form part of the ministry’s short to long term plans he added.

 

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DOMLEC Update on Restoration Activities – March 23, 2018

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Dominica Electricity Services Limited (DOMLEC)

Latest areas energized

  • Cochrane
  • Stockfarm
  • Sections of Point Michel
  • Loubiere Main road
  • Sections of St. Joseph including the Highway
  • Sections of Leopoldville
  • Sections of Fortune
  • Vieille case
  • A section from Melville Hall to the North End
  • Weirs, Marigot and other sections of Marigot
  • Thibaud
  • Sections of Teplat

Ongoing work

  • Marigot
  • Savanne Paille
  • Ambas
  • Belluve Chopin
  • Completing Stockfarm, Point Michel, Castle Comfort, Kingshill, Canefield East, Leopoldville
  • Continuing work at River Estate, 12th Street Canefield, RBC Housing Scheme, Loubiere, Paix Bouche, Mero, Mahaut, Tete Morne, St. Joseph

 

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