Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has said that the resettlement project at Bellevue Chopin for Petite Savanne residents who were displaced by Tropical Storm Erika in 2015, will aid in the restoration of their lives.
“We’re here giving keys to 52 families of Petite Savanne who were displaced by TS Erika and I’m happy for you my dear friends,” Skerrit said at the handing over of the 52 residential units on Tuesday. “I am very happy because I know that this will help in the restoration of your lives, psychologically and emotionally, in particular”
He said over 190 homes will be given to Petite Savanne residents later down this year and an additional 110 homes to people from different parts of the island.
“By mid-April we will hand over… 30 more keys and by the end of April we’ll hand over an addition 60 keys to 60 families. So, in the month of April alone, we will be giving keys to 90 additional families and by mid-May, an addition 45 keys to families and early June, 50 additional keys,” the prime minister stated.
“When we will have completed the allocation of the residents of Petite Savanne, we will have in excess of about 110 additional homes which we will also provide to people from Bagatelle, Pichelen and the rest of Dominica,” he said.
The prime minister indicated that the expected commencement, in the next few weeks of some 500 residential units in other parts of Dominica, will bring closer, the goal of constructing 5000 new homes on the island.
Meantime, Project Manager of MMCE, Christopher Timmins said apart from homes, provisions are also being made for the establishment of businesses within the resettlement project for the Petite Savanne residents.
“It has always been intended that we will work with the government to create a large self-sufficient mountain-top community still retaining its rural essence but at the same time, providing the facilities of a town with access of high-speed internet, shops, providing all the requisites for daily living from the plaza, offices for utility companies and other service providers whether it be a doctor or lawyer offices,” Timmins said
He added, “This, coupled with the provisions of the new community centre, the farmers markets,… hopefully alleviating the need to go to Roseau for daily requirements, creating employment and small business opportunities as well as hopefully, bringing customers in from near-by locations.”
Timmins acknowledged the efforts of DOMLEC, DOWASCO and FLOW who have all adhered to the infrastructure requirements to install their systems underground which, according to him, in the long term, will prevent outages due to the weather as well as provide a more aesthetic appearance.