ROSEAU, Dominica -- Public Works Minister Rayburn Blackmoore has given an assurance that his ministry will embark on restoring damaged infrastructure in the south of Dominica as soon as possible.
Heavy rains in the early hours of December 24, 2013, caused extensive damage to homes, businesses and public infrastructure, predominantly in areas such as Newtown, Fortune, Castle Comfort, Soufriere, Beau Bois, Pointe Mitchel and sections of the Roseau Valley.
Clean-up starts in Dominica
The public works minister said on Monday that, as a matter of priority, retaining walls will be installed and roads will be repaired in critical areas affected.
“We will seek to restore some of the roadways that have been compromised as far as safety is concerned. For example, in the Champagne, Pointe Mitchel area, the road there has been significantly undermined and as consequence safety has been compromised. Additionally in the Roseau valley area, Fortune, Beau Bois and several other places need attention,” he noted.
“We have to ensure that we put in place mitigating factors as a way forward,” the minister stressed.
Blackmoore said technical support from regional and international partners will be critical in getting the affected areas back to normalcy.
The minister reported that technical officials from the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and other agencies visited Dominica on December 29 to assess the impact of the weather system, which also caused significant losses and fatalities in other Caribbean islands.
He said the estimated cleanup cost, according to his ministry, stands at EC$45 million.
“From a government standpoint, based on the assessment by the ministry of public works, we will need about 45 million EC dollars just to restore our roads, put in river walls and effect to other mitigating measures,” Blackmoore explained.
He said that the ministry is now in the process of finalizing plans to address those concerns.
“Going forward we have begun to put systems in place from a ministry standpoint to ensure that we start the design works for river walls. We have to move immediately to rehabilitate the road in the Champagne area because the road in that area has been almost restricted to a one way,” he said.
The minister noted that it is critical that the ministry move quickly in the Green Valley area in Pointe Mitchel, where a number of homes have been affected.
“We have to address critically the ravine in Fortune which caused significant flooding and destruction. We have to ensure that we put systems in place to deal with that situation so the water from the ravine can be properly channeled if we were to have a similar weather situation,” Blackmoore said.
Republished with permission of CBN4News