The Government of Dominica has signed a one point two million dollar project with the Basic Needs Trust Funds (BNTF) for the construction of the Grand Fond storm drain.
The contract was signed by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Community Development Mr. Lucien Blackmoore and Representative of Regional Contractors Inc. Mr. Patrick Paul at a signing ceremony held on Wednesday September 2 at the Grand Fond Primary School.
PS Blackmoore says the construction of a new storm drain in Grand Fond is another step towards making Dominica the first climate resilient nation in the world.
“This ninth program is part of three key areas that the bank in collaboration with with Government is focusing on. In terms of infrastructure development we are looking at access and drainage, education and human resource development, and water and sanitation; and of course this project falls under access and drainage. And for us here in Grand Fond access and drainage is very important. Access was recently upgraded and now we have to make sure we mitigate against all the ills and perils that come about as a result of natural disasters. So we are ensuring that Grand Fond is part of Government’s focus in terms of we becoming the first climate resilient nation in the world,” PS Blackmoore stated.
Outgoing Chairman of the Grand Fond Village Council, Mr. Augustus Lewis says he is happy to see this project come to fruition.
“I have been there from day one of that project, and I am pleased that under my stewardship that this project is going to happen. Because at one time we were really wondering if it would happen because of circumstances and natural disasters. But I know that the people of Grand Fond are very much happy that this program is going to happen once and for all,” Lewis noted.
Project Manager at the BNTF, Mr. Matthew Carrette gave a summary of what the project will entail.
“The works really involve the construction of concrete drains in two parts of the community. In addition to the drains we are going to construct catch pits and in some areas retaining walls. We want to repair and construct some culvert crossings, and do some road reinstatement where necessary. We want to install garbage cranes and we want to remove all the sediment and garbage and vegetation,” Mr. Carrette explained.
Member of Parliament for the Grand Fond Constituency Honourable Gretta Roberts says Grand Fond has benefited from numerous BNTF projects.
Minister Roberts applauded the BNTF for the projects that they have done around the island. She says these projects have positively impacted the lives of Dominican citizens.
“All these projects have had a significant impact on the lives of the people of Grand Fond, Morne Jaune and Riviere Cyrique and this storm drain project is no exception. As Minister responsible for Citizen Empowerment, I want to acknowledge and applaud the work that BNTF is doing across the island. I am aware that project undertaken by BNTF are as a result of the engagement of citizens in community and national development,” Honourable Roberts stated.
Meanwhile Minister with responsibility for Community Development, Honourable Roselyn Paul says this project will assist in reducing the vulnerability of the community.
“We are alleviating the various risks that we spoke about; we are reducing the community’s vulnerability to disasters and to mitigate the possible effects of climate change,” Minister Paul added.