Government continues to focus on the development of the Kalinago people despite economic challenges affecting countries across the globe.
Contracts for the construction of two access roads were signed on Tuesday October 9, 2012 during a ceremony at the Carib Council’s Office.
Prime Minister Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit stated that his administration will endeavour to support the advancement of Dominica’s indigenous people.
“I cannot recall any Government who has gone out to a bank and borrowed money to invest in the Kalinago people. I dare say and I’m sure that nobody can challenge me, that under my leadership as Prime Minister, you have seen more happen for the Kalinago people than all Prime Minister’s put together.”
“I have a genuine concern for the struggles of the Kalinago people because I believe for much too long these people have been taken for granted by various political parties and governments who believe that they could come here in the dark of night and promise people all sorts of things here and when the day breaks they’re no longer there to hold the Kalinago people’s hand and ensure that they can address the issues confronting the people.”
Minister for Carib Affairs Hon. Ashton Graneau says the signing is a demonstration of government’s commitment to the project and by extension the Carib people.
“This multipurpose project is on target and will be completed taking all components into full account. For the benefit of the entire Kalinago community and Atkinson your Parliamentary Representative is delivering and will continue to deliver. Your government is delivering.”
The Carib Affairs Minister says the project will create employment for vendors and residents with skills in road construction, among others.
“Clearly this is bound to stimulate economic activity in the immediate localities for the duration of the project which is expected to be nine to ten months. On completion of the project, the following would have been achieved. Improved and enhanced local access for residents utilizing that section of the Horse Back Ridge Road, facilitation of easy access for tourists and tour operators who utilize this road regularly from the top of which one is likely able to have a semi aerial view of Pagua, Tuna Village and other communities in the Kalinago Territory.”
“Increased agricultural production for land owners in the vicinity and further afield to Tuna, thereby generating increased income for farmers in these parts and most importantly for the first time in the history of Kalinago we will be able to access Tuna Village, Concord much more easily and quickly than utilizing the traditional route.”
Edgehill and Associates has been contracted to construct the two access roads at a cost of $1.868 million dollars.
The project entails road construction work from the entrance of the southern section of the Horse Back Ridge Road to the top of Deyfoh to Touna Village in Concord.
The construction of the two access roads is one of the components of the Carib Territory Community Capacity Building Project.
The project was launched by the government of Dominica in 2009 with loan funds from the Caribbean Development Bank to the tune of $8.618 million.
The six components of the programme include a retrofitting training programme, preparation of a local area plan for the territory, institutional strengthening and capacity development, construction of access roads, construction of resource centres and an enterprise and cultural development facility.
Several components have already been completed.
Under the retrofitting component, twenty-eight individuals were trained including one female. Seven families benefitted directly when their houses were retrofitted during the practical training phase of this component.
The final findings and recommendations were presented in February 2012 to the community by the consultants preparing the local area plan. To date this component has been completed.
The institutional strengthening and capacity development component was completed in September 2012. A total of 224 people participated in nine training modules.