Several women in the Layou community were presented with coolers and ice sheets last week as part of efforts to reclaim and sustain the Titiri market. The community of Layou is well known as the Titiri Village.
The presentation formed part of plans by the Labour Party administration to assist residents of the community following the Layou River disaster and the breach of the Mattieu Dam which had a devastating impact on the livelihood of residents last year.
Parliamentary representative for the St. Joseph constituency Hon. Kelvar Darroux spoke of the contribution by government towards the relief efforts for the Layou people.
He says, “The Government of Dominica has stepped in, in several ways. We have provided assistance to the farmers who were affected by giving them a stipend of five hundred dollars for those who had to traverse through another route. We provided assistance to the fishermen of Layou. Over twenty-five fishermen received sixty percent of what they lost. The Government of Dominica responded in quick time to provide relief to the residents of the Clarke Hall area who were severely affected by the loss of their properties and so forth. The Government has spent in excess of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars to replace the center portion of the York Valley Bridge. This was in an effort to allow the famers who had their farms in that area to regain access to their farms. We continue to work tirelessly. We are also in the process of finalizing negotiations with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) for a loan in excess of twenty-seven million dollars to ensure that we can rehabilitate and restore the Layou Valley area to its original state and that would include works on the road and the river walls. The people of Layou would benefit tremendously as part of that project will also include an emergency and disaster shelter which will comprise of a resource center and classrooms for training. All this is in effort to get the people of Layou back to a state of normalcy.”
President of the Layou Improvement Committee Lazare Charles says the latest gesture by government will bring relief to the women of Layou.
He says” The coolers will provide a sanitary and convenient method for transportation and sale of Titiri. We know that Titiri is a very fragile product and has a short lifespan so with these coolers, the Titiri can know be presented at a higher quality for public consumption. This way it is safe for the use of the public. The ice sheets will assist keeping cooling power and freshness without the mess caused by melted ice.”