Chief Executive Officer of the Climate Resilience Executing Agency (CREAD), Ms. Francine Baron believes that Dominica is in a much better position to withstand a major hurricane.
CREAD leads and coordinates strategic initiatives across sectors in the commonwealth of Dominica with the goal of making the country the world’s first climate resilient nation. CREAD acts to bolster the ability of the business community, public services, and social sector partners to build strong and resilient communities, develop adaptive infrastructure, accelerate economic growth, strengthen institutional systems, enhance Dominicans’ capacity to respond to the local impacts of global climate change, and set an example for the rest of the world on how to respond to the challenges of a changing climate.
Ms. Baron says a climate resilient recovery plan was developed to ensure that Dominica is on the right path to becoming the first climate resilient nation in the world.
“The Climate Resilience Recovery Plan is actually based on three pillars which is climate resilience systems, prudent disaster risk management and effective disaster risk response. So with climate resilience system, we are talking about our systems being able to adjust and absorb the impact of a disaster. Prudent disaster risk management speaks minimizing and managing the risks and the effective disaster risk response and recovery talks about post disaster, and how we minimize the impact and accelerate the recovery after a disaster,” Ms. Baron explained.
Based on those three pillars, six result areas have been identified to achieve this plan.
“Those results areas are strong communities, so how do we build strong communities that have the capacity to absorb shocks and bounce back quickly. So we are looking at the key elements being your ability to access shelter, to access medical care and the basic necessities such as food, water, power, telecommunications, and our disaster preparedness and response plan. Those are the key things that we will look at under that particular result area. Then of course there is the robust economy which has many different dimensions but the idea with the robust economy is to ensure that we limit production losses after a disaster and we are able to recover and reconstruct in a very quick manner,” the CREAD CEO explained.
The third result area is a well-planned and durable infrastructure. Hurricane Maria wiped out ninety percent of Dominica’s housing stock and government through CREAD is developing various ways to ensure that proper infrastructures are built in the event of a major natural disaster.
“We would have seen significant impact to our infrastructure as a result of Hurricane Maria and therefore the requirement and need to build back better, to build stronger structures; structures that are more resilient to impact from either the weather or an earthquake. So the structures that are being built are being built to be resilient so that if we are affected again by a category 5 hurricane, we will not have the level of damage that we suffered from hurricane Maria. So we talking about our schools that are being reconstructed or repaired and being done better. So in many instances, we have to make the decision to see if the school should be repaired or rebuilt, and if it makes better sense to completely rebuilt the school instead of just repairing what is there which is a weak structure, we would rebuild the school instead,” the CREAD CEO added.
CREAD continues to implement a series of flagship initiatives that will propel the journey towards resilience.