Sixty-three acres of land is currently being cleared in Wesley for the construction of the international airport.
On Monday August 30 2021, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Hon Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit, led a delegation to get a first-hand view of the clearing works done thus far.
The work includes the removal of shrubs and debris to facilitate the geotechnical studies for the airport’s construction.
Prime Minister Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit led a delegation to the site on Monday, where he expressed his satisfaction with the progress of works thus far.
“We visited the actual site got the construction of the airport. We have started the clearing of the site. Obviously light clearing to allow for access roads for the equipment to make their way through so the studies can be done on the actual site. The first phase of the clearing would be some 63 acres of land, again using all local heavy equipment, operators and owners. So, so far so good. We are progressing. In the next several months we will sign the major contract for the construction of the airport; but all of the elements that are necessary preconditions to the actual commencement of the airport are falling in place,” Hon. Skerrit stated.
Prime Minister says the lab for soil testing is completed with all the necessary equipment on island.
“The lab is completed with all the necessary equipment on island and will be installed within the next three days including the equipment needed for the geo technical surveys and studies which is a very important component for construction. So we are very satisfied with the quality of work there,” the PM noted.
Member of Parliament for the Wesley Constituency, Hon. Fidel Grant, despite the challenges being faced by the covid-19 pandemic progress is being made towards the construction of the international airport.
“Today was a significant day for me as Parliamentary Representative of the Wesley Constituency because it means that during this covid period we have continued to see progress and development in the Wesley constituency. The international airport is progressing smoothly,” Hon. Grant stated.
Senior Minister and Minister for Housing and Urban Development, Hon Reginald Austrie, says the construction of the international airport will bring much needed social and economic activity to the community of Wesley and environs.
“I believe that once this project is completed there will be total economic and social transformation of this part of the country and the general country as a whole. So I want Dominicans to come and see for themselves. You all have been hearing about it on the radio, but I believe seeing is believing. I would like to urge you to wear your mask, sanitize, do not shake hands and so on but come up and drive to Jo Burton and to the airport site and make your own decision as to the level of development that is taking place while we are fighting covid-19,” Hon. Austrie noted.
The agreement for the construction of the international airport was signed between the Government of Dominica and Montreal Management Consultants Establishment (MMCE) on June 9, 2021. The airport project, whose completion is set for 2025, will be solely funded by the country's Citizenship by Investment Programme.
Meanwhile, thirty-one homes are being constructed in the Jo Burton area to facilitate the relocation of residents for the construction of the international airport. These homes are scheduled to be completed in September and are on schedule.
“We visited the housing where about 31 homes are being built for individuals who we acquired properties from and agreed for the Government to build for them. And so these homes are on schedule and with a significant number of workers. All the materials are procured locally from local suppliers from tiles to concrete and cement, galvanize and lumber. So this is a significant boost to the construction sector. And of course there are other people who are building their individual homes. The Government based on their requests paid them for their properties and they have contracted their own contractors to build for them and from what we see these homes are also going on as well,” PM Skerrit explained.
Minister for Housing, Hon. Reginald Austrie says Government remains committed to the transformation of housing in Dominica, stating that “the construction of these homes in the Jo Burton area will certainly change the housing in the constituency.”
Minister Grant is also pleased for the new housing development and the employment opportunities afforded to his constituents during the construction phase. He also spoke of the resiliency of these homes which will create a much safer environment for home-owners.
The Government of Dominica and Montreal Management Consultants Establishment have improved the Dominica’s housing stock since 2015 with the construction of several apartment complexes across the island. These is all part of Government’s vision to build resiliency and become the world’s first climate resilient nation.
Project Director of MMCE, Cal-Murad, says the company was advised by the Prime Minister to ensure that all jobs are given to local contractors. He says so far, MMCE has honoured this commitment.