A government-constructed house in Pointe Michel

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has said the 5,000 new homes his government is committed to constructing for Dominicans after Maria could serve as hurricane shelters.

He said his government would like to minimize the number of people going to shelters during a hurricane.

“In the quest of the government to build 5000 homes, we would like for each of those homes, every one of those homes, to be a hurricane shelter,” he said. “Based on the construction method the quality of the construction, the use of the material, you can stay in your homes and see this hurricane through because we would like to minimize the number of us who have to go to hurricane shelters and the government is committed to building about 5,000 new homes to provide for our citizens in Dominica and we are well on our way.”

According to Skerrit the government has signed contracts for 1,000 homes and for over 600 apartment units.

He stated that the government is using additional resources to build homes for individuals and utilizing some funds from the Government of Venezuela to build several homes across Dominica.

“When we say we are building for greater resilience one has to understand what that really means in simple terms,” he said.

He pointed out that having an appreciation for the environment means, “having an appreciation for the risks and the hazards which the environment has and building and adapting in the manner that if these disasters were to visit us, we would be in a better position to withstand it and if we are impacted we would be in a better position we will be in a better position to recover from it much quickly.”

Furthermore Skerrit mentioned that his government started the process of resilience before the passing of Hurricane Maria.

“That is what we said to you when we designed the West Bridge in Roseau…,” he remarked. “If a storm like Erika were to come back to visit Dominica, the Roseau Bridge would be in a better place to withstand it and we saw this happen with Maria where not even the paint on the railings was washed away by the hurricane.”