The Local Government Department and the Office of Disaster Management have received over 2.1 million EC dollars for the retro-fitting and supply of equipment for shelters around the island.
Local Government Commissioner, Glenroy Toussaint says the grant was secured from USAID/OFDA as phase two of a community shelter emergency project which was established post Hurricane Maria.
“Along with the IOM, we saw the need to look at a second phase of that project, and that second phase would have looked at the improvement or the retrofitting of seven emergency shelters, and providing supplies to fifty five emergency shelters in Dominica. And so we are pleased that sometime earlier this year, funding was approved by USAID through the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance. And so we were able to approve 2.1 million EC dollars for the execution of a community shelter emergency preparedness project which will seek to enhance our shelter capacity and of course to make it the model that we so desire in our communities,” Mr. Toussaint stated.
Mr. Toussaint says seven shelters will be renovated as part of the project. The scope of the project will include the installation of new kitchens, the reinforcement of roofs, and the enhancement of washroom facilities which would bring the shelters up to the desired standard.
“We have seven of the shelters that we have to improve or retrofit. The Cottage Community Center, the Lower Penville Resource Center, the Cochrane Old School, the Pointe Michel Community Center, the Eggleston Pavilion, the Sineku Resource Center and the Laudat Old School. Out of those seven projects, the one with the greatest work is the Sineku Resource Center and so extensive work will be done. The work will include improvements to the roof structure, changing of all doors and windows, toilet facilities, kitchenettes and all of those things,” he noted.
Mr. Toussaint says the Sineku resource centre is a major project, and works are set to commence in November 2020, to end early in 2021. He also says the shelters will be ready come the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane season.
Mr. Toussaint says fifty-five shelters will receive equipment in the form of generators, hygiene supplies, first aid kits, kitchen sets, and most importantly privacy screens. Mr. Toussaint says that given the covid-19 pandemic the privacy screens are essential.
“As part of the project we are going to give supplies to fifty five emergency shelters, and the supplies we are giving includes things such as bed cots, kitchen hygiene sets, alternative sources of energy, blankets, first aid kits, kitchen supplies, privacy screens, and some hygiene supplies as well,” Toussaint added.