Marigot residents have embarked on protest action over the lack of a functioning hospital in that community.
The institution was shut down in 2016 due to mold and fungus infestation of the building which housed the facility.
Since then, amidst mounting concern by Marigot residents and their parliamentary representative, Lennox Linton, the government has made several announcements regarding the construction of the facility which has so far not materialized.
Chairman of the Marigot Village Council, Egbert Jeremy, announced on Wednesday morning, that a number of people had gathered in the vicinity of the existing structure in the village, to express their dissatisfaction with the lack of a hospital facility in the community.
Jeremy, who spoke on the Hot Seat on Q95, expressed elation that “the ladies” of Marigot had joined him in this “peaceful” protest close to the abandoned building which formerly housed the Marigot Hospital.
“We know that it is a national issue..the people of Dominica, if they [don’t] want to help Marigot, we are doing it on our own and we have started; we have really started.., Jeremy said. “The thing is, we need this hospital..we need a lot of stuff in Marigot. We need roads, we need bridges, we need every thing in Marigot…and nobody is paying attention to Marigot.”
He pointed out, “Marigot is not Lennox Linton; it’s not Edison James. Marigot is Marigot and it is a part of Dominica…and we’re gonna fight; we’re gonna fight until if they can’t hear us, they’re going to feel us.”
Jeremy indicated that unlike the protests in Roseau, there was no police presence except for a lone officer in regular uniform who was observing from the police station located nearby.
One of the female protesters appealed to other people to support the action which has been taken by the Marigot residents.
“People from the east, north-east, the Marigot Hospital is for all of us Dominicans on a whole. Come and support health and health is a must and that is our priority and our health is our responsibility,” she remarked. “People from the east, north-east, everywhere, step out. This is our life. People are dying because we have lack of the facility at the hospital.”
Health Minister, Kenneth Darroux, said in May 2018, one year after it was announced that the government of Mexico had committed EC$13.5 million for the construction of the hospital, that site clearing for the construction of the facility had begun.
Jeremy told DNO that the site has been cleared but no additional work on the project has since been undertaken.
He said they plan to continue the protest action in two other locations in the village on Thursday and on Friday, they will again assemble at the entrance to the Hospital. On Saturday, he stated, there will be another gathering to which the parliamentary representatives of the constituencies in the area and other stakeholders will be invited.