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Saturday, 18 November 2017

Addresses

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Housing Minister Says Government Soon To Focus On Resettling Campbell

The Hon Minister for Housing, Reginald Austrie has indicated that moving forward, Government will focus its attention on relocating the entire community of Campbell.

Following Tropical Storm Erika, an assessment conducted by the United Nations Development Programme concluded that nine communities, at varying degrees, are vulnerable to natural disasters. These communities are Paradise Valley, Bath Estate, Dubique, Petite Savanne, Campbell, Coulibistrie, Pichelin, Petite Soufriere, Good Hope and San Sauver.

Thirty-eight families of Dubique have been relocated to Center, Grand Bay while Government is working on relocating another two hundred and eighty-three families of Petite Savanne.

Hon Austrie says now that relocation of these two communities are well underway Government is now refocusing its attention to the community of Campbell.

“We have already begun the process of identifying to deal with Campbell because eventually the entire Campbell community will have to be relocated.  I cannot tell you whether it’s tomorrow morning, I cannot tell you if it’s next week, next month or next year but those of you who know Campbell and based on recent events in Campbell, the entire Campbell community will have to be relocated.”

Five hundred and twenty-one homes were destroyed by Tropical Storm Erika – a total of 146 million dollars’ worth of damage.  Government will spend $124 million dollars to resettle Petite Savanne while $12.8 million was spent to resettle Dubique.

As part of its build back better concept, Hon Austrie says Government is taking a phased approach to resettling Campbell.

He Austrie lauded the efforts of Government for raising the necessary finances to resettle these communities.  The Housing Minister says this is a major undertaking by Government and indicated that this project is a national effort.

Hon Austrie was speaking at a contract signing ceremony for infrastructural work in Plat Ma Pierre last week.

New Contractual Farming Programme to Commence In Good Hope

Farmers of Good Hope have been assured that new measures and programmes have been set to develop the farming sector in their community.

Hon Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit, has committed to the farmers of Good hope $100,000 to assist with the development of farming as a small business.

The Hon Prime Minister was speaking at a town hall meeting there on Wednesday and pledged a total of $200,000 towards small business development in Good Hope.

Of that amount, he pledged half to the farmers.

“I am committing $200,000 for small business development, but I want $100,00 to go to the farmers of Good Hope to provide you with the support you need to continue to farm, to continue to cultivate and to make a better way of life for your families and for your children.”

The farmers of the that community will also benefit from new contracts negotiated by the Government of Dominica with the Dominica Export Import Agency (DEXIA).

Meantime, farmers of Good Hope will be the first to take advantage of a series of new programmes for farmers which are being launched by Government.

This announcement came from the Hon Parliamentary Representative for Castle Bruce and Minister for Agriculture, Johnson Drigo.

“The first community where we want to enter into yams and potatoes will be with you the farmers of Good Hope,” oHon Drigo explained, “We will be coming back to meet you very early next week and a representative of DEXIA, … will meet you here, we will have the contracts.”

The contracts already secured with DEXIA for the farmers through Government are for the sale of yams, potatoes and cucumbers.

Hon. Drigo assured the farmers that there are numerous incentives for them as part of the upgraded contracts.

“In the agreement, there are incentives; we will provide you with a consignment of fertilizer and some of the Round-Up you will need for clearing…”

The Hon mp, encouraged the farmers who will soon sign unto these contracts to be prepared to honour the agreements in order to consistently supply the established markets.

He explained to farmers that it is more important to secure established markets than to sell the produce otherwise only for a small increase in sale price.

“We expect you to stick to the agreement. One of the things we have had in the past is that we’ve had agreements with some of you and then when somebody pass who is giving 10 cents more you will sell all of the crops and then when DEXIA comes, they cannot get anything for the market it was intended for.

And when you plant for the export market, you may not get the price the huckster is giving you on the pick-up but we expect you to stick with this market because what you need is market for your crop.

He hopes that the contractual programmes will encourage farmers to produce more to sustain the current British market as well as secure lasting relationships with new U.S markets.

For farmers who may be hesitant to sign the contracts with DEXIA , the minister explained there have been upgrades within DEXIA’s system and that selling to DEXIA serves both the farmers and huckster.

The contractual farming programme expected to begin with the Good Hope farmers as of next week will eventually extend across the island. 

Trade Ministry Poses Bann on Corned Beef from Brazil

The Government of Dominica has placed a ban on the importation of corned beef from Brazil with immediate effect.

On Monday, the Government of Jamaica imposed an immediate import ban on corned beef originating from Brazil.  The move follows reports from Brazilian authorities that several major Brazilian meat processors have been selling corned beef not fit for consumption.

The joint decision was made after discussions between the customs and excise division, the Ministry of Agriculture, the veterinary unit, and the environmental health unit as 78 percent of Dominica’s imports of corned beef comes from Brazil.

Government Commits To Construct Administrative Building In Portsmouth

The Government of Dominica has committed to construct an administrative building in the town of Portsmouth.

During a town hall meeting in Portsmouth recently, the Hon Prime Minister, Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit, said this will facilitate residents of Portsmouth and environs wishing to do business with the Government.

“This is a town in Dominica, and if it’s a town in Dominica, then it must have appropriate Government offices here in the town of Portsmouth and people must know they can go to a central spot where they can acquire Government services,” Hon Skerrit said.

Hon Skerrit says that Government will be working closely with the Dominica Social Security to look at the prospects of building this administrative building.

The nation’s leader listed additional Government’s offices which will be located in the administrative building.

He said it is anticipated that the building will have an office for the Prime Minister “so there is no need for you to go to Roseau to see the Prime Minister, he will come there from time to time for an office in Portsmouth.”

The building is also anticipated to include a sub-treasury, Dominica Social Security office as well as all other government offices, the post office and an office for the parliamentary representative.

The Dominica Labour Party Government has held numerous town hall meetings in various communities across the island to sensitize the public on ongoing projects financed by the Citizenship by Investment Programme.

Gov’t Contributes Over $113,000 Dollars to National HIV/AIDS Unit

Coordinator of the National HIV/AIDS Response Unit, Allison Samuel, has expressed thanks to the Government of Dominica for their contribution of over a hundred and thirteen thousand dollars ($113,000) towards testing efforts.

Prior to 2010 the National Programme was a national project funded by Global Fund. In 2010, the government took over a large portion of thehiv testing day units funding. Samuel explained that before receiving the approval to have the funds added on the recurrent budget they were required to present the proposal of activities at the unit.

Funding is now being provided in the areas of salaries disbursements, programme components, anti-retro virals, viral blood testing, CD4 testing, which must be done for every HIV-positive client.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Regional HIV/AIDS testing day which is normally observed in May. Samuel revealed that all the health districts are in the process of planning. She stated that they have not yet decided on a theme for this year.

In Dominica, National HIV/AIDS testing day is normally a month of activities.

Last year, the theme was, ‘Get Tested Stop Ducking it’. 

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