Discussions are ongoing as Government seeks to relocate the residents of Petite Savanne and Dubique.
Following the passage of Tropical Storm Erika, residents there were left cut off from the rest of the country and the communities suffered immense damage.
On Tuesday September 8th Hon. Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit spoke to the residents on the subject.
“There appears to unanimity among residents that they would have to be relocated; that’s very helpful because often due to a number of considerations people are not prepared to leave [their homes] of several generations. We understand and appreciate that. They recognize that the pace is not safe and will not be in the near future,” he said.
“Thus far, we have identified a number of potential sites and Cabinet has appointed a committee chaired by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Housing to deal with such matters.”
According to the Prime Minister, the committee is currently assessing those sites with long and short term safety as priority.
“When we can identify and agree on a site, Government will move expeditiously to commence the construction of homes.”
Government has solicited the advice of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the University of the West Indies to help roll out a plan for resettlement.
“It’s going to be a huge task plus we have several families and households to be catered for.”
He listed considerations like community centres, playing facilities, health centres, possibly police stations and schools.
“From the very day I went to Petite Savanne on Friday morning, I [realized] that there was no way we could rebuild this community but I wanted to be sure… clearly the decision is to resettle them. It’s in the best interest of all the residents and it will certainly allow the rest of the country to sleep much better in the future.”
The Hon. Prime Minister says access will eventually be facilitated to the community, most likely from the Delices end.
Government is also looking to retrieve as many items as possible from the area for the residents.
He listed family portraits and items of sentimental value.