Concerns raised over the safety of road rehabilitation works being undertaken on Dominica’s east coast

President of the Tipper Truckers Association of Dominica (TTAD) and former Chairman of the Atkinson Village Council, Anton Laville, is expressing safety concerns over how the road banks are being cut in the area.

The Government of Dominica, through the Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project (DVRP) and funded by the World Bank, is rehabilitating 43.3 km of road from Bois Diab to Hatton Garden.

Concerning Lot 4 (Castle Bruce to Hatton Garden) which passes through the Kalinago Territory, Laville, a resident of Atkinson who is employed on the project, says that fear is mounting among villagers, that the manner in which the project is being done may result in several casualties in the event of another natural disaster.

“The banks are being done very straight which is very dangerous and it is clear to see that the way it is being done, it is going to cause us in the future to have land erosion,” he said. “Right now, with the work that’s being done, houses are hanging and it’s very unsafe and we fear for what may happen. We remember what happened to Petite Savanne, an entire village had to be relocated, and we don’t want this to happen in our area.”

The head of the TTAD stressed that he and the many other residents of Atkinson and the Kalinago Territory who are raising such concerns are not against the development of the road works being undertaken by Sotradom, a company headed by Jack Gardhankan, but instead, are only ensuring that safety measures are enforced.

He noted that they are not casting blame on the company, but on the engineers who are supervising this project.

“We are happy that this is being done. Myself, as a trucker, we’ve been fighting to get on this project, and finally, we’re getting work. However, it’s not because I’m employed on the project, it means that I shouldn’t bring light to the unsafe practice which I’m observing,” Laville said.

“In the ’70s when it was done, it was done in a  step format and it prevented erosions; it prevented landslides. Right now in  2022, if something is going to be done, it should be done in a manner that will actually protect lives and property but it is not being done in that manner and we are standing up against it,” the Atkinson resident declared.

He reiterated that the truckers are in favour of the work continuing but insists that it should be done in a manner that takes into account their observations.

Laville revealed that he met on Saturday with the present chairman of the Atkinson Village Council and requested that work on the project be temporarily halted until they meet with representatives of the World Bank sometime this week.

DNO has reached out to Cozier Frederick, the parliamentary representative for the area, who is also the Minister for The Environment, Rural Modernisation and Kalinago Upliftment  but we have not received any response from either minister.

Attempts to seek comment from contractor, Jack Gardhankan, have also been unsuccessful.

The project is being done at a cost of one hundred and twenty-six million EC dollars and will include slope stabilization, new roads, bridges and improved drainage.

Four continuous sections of roads will be rehabilitated including Lot 1 – Pont Casse from to Bois Diable (4.5 km), Lot 2 from Bois Diable to Castle Bruce (9.5 km); Lot 3  from Castle Bruce to Petite Soufrière (8.8 km) and Lot 4 from Castle Bruce to Hatton Garden (20.5 km).

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35 Comments

  1. Waiting For Airport
    April 15, 2022

    We special in that Dominica dere wi, politics over everything??? really???

    Being loyal to your leader more important than protecting people life? their house they spend so much to build? their community? really???

    Awa wi D A, we have to draw the line somewhere!

  2. Alfred
    April 14, 2022

    These contractors are incompetent and inconsiderate beyond belief. They have ripped up the entire road making passage dangerous and difficult. Their traffic management leaves a lot to be desired and I’ve heard stories from two people of how their vehicles were hit by heavy machinery. No they are creating a future landslide hazard with these stupid stupid embankments. And what does the government do? Nothind at all, because of the corrupt way the contract was awarded in the first place.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2
  3. Jonathan Y St Jean
    April 14, 2022

    So This is a classic case of some engineers being schooled but not educated. It’s a known fact that terracing helps to reduce water speed flowing down slopes and helps in the stabilizing of slopes. Our ancestors knew that and there are many examples of the success and wisdom of terracing. For a country with as much rainfall as Dominca it’s foolhardy to think that now we are abandoning the practice which will help stabilize slopes and assist in reducing landslippage. I know of some tradesmen who factor sabotage into their work to ensure future work, plumbers are famous for doing that, and I hope this isn’t a case of setting up for future work why the terracing is not being used in the road rehab works. Thank you Anton Laville for bringing this shortsightedness to our attention.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2
    • lmckoy
      April 17, 2022

      Effective terracing takes space; you may notice from the pictures that there are structures located almost at the edge of some of the works.

  4. April 14, 2022

    Not supprised that DumbLP supporters have an objection to anyone has some intelligent conversation about what transpires in Dominica; what a brilliant observation; these recalcitrant blind followers, all take their cue from the Dr Dr and senior Minister what a disgusting shame.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 2
    • Ibo France
      April 15, 2022

      Too many DLP supporters are severely allergic to common sense and the few sensible ones wilfully suspend their common sense to gain favour with their demi-god ,
      Roosevelt. They are fully prepared to refer to Skerrit’s destructive and silly doings and policies as acts of superlative brilliance.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
    • Ibo France
      April 17, 2022

      You have spoken the undeniable truth about these fanatically blind and obdurate sycophants of the Evil One who illicitly occupies the Office of Prime Minister.

      Even when this dotard makes decisions that are gravely injurious to their wellbeing, these diehards, cheerfully applaud and robustly defend him.

  5. Magway ca
    April 14, 2022

    I reading those comments and only only one person seem to know a little about what they talking about. The rest just running there mouth about nothing they know about . The embankments are not high enough to warrant all the hoorah that fool making about them. The soil is compact and extremely stable. The soil above the cut does not have an adverse slope. And to make it even more nonesense the project is not yet completed. They may be placing walls in the future as part of the project even though they are not needed as none of the displayed pictures shows any adverse construction techs used

    Please please let the people do there work and stop talking nonesense you all know nothing about at all. The dust is because the area is dry and I bet if they watered down the place you all would complain about mud get a job and occupation and be some help to you all nation

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 19
    • Roger Burnett
      April 14, 2022

      When the decision was taken to remove millions of tons of spoil from Red Gully and dump it alongside the road at Antrim, a Public Works employee with a lifetime’s experience of the area attempted to warn them of the consequences.

      He was told to shut up, we know what we’re doing.

      The project’s consultant assured me that what they were doing would stabilize the road and when finished not a teacup of water would run down my driveway.

      So much for stabilizing road, and so much for the teacup of water which has since washed out my driveway!

      Over the years, misguided attempts to remedy the situation have only made the matter worse.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0
      • chobo bien
        April 14, 2022

        this looking like dumping soil in another place or is this cut consolidated soil? your example not making any sense at all. and is actually degrading the point you are trying to make so much that you would have been better of not making it at all

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 1 Thumb down 11
        • Roger Burnett
          April 16, 2022

          To aid comprehension, I usually break my comments down to paragraphs of one sentence.

          But alas, it seems that for some even this is of no help in furthering understanding.

      • Ibo France
        April 17, 2022

        Roger, I have a healthy respect for you. Your comments, opinions and thoughts are usually very objective, insightful and of great depth.

        People like you, ‘Athie’ and many erudite patriots, should be used as advisors to the incumbent administration no matter which political party is in power.

  6. Ibo France
    April 14, 2022

    What astounds me most is this. Even when people with no axe to grind express a legitimate concern about a potentially dangerous situation, there are those political fanatics of the DLP who will malign the good citizens when made the observation.

    What is responsible for this fractious division in this country? The misguided, divisive policies of a ill-bred members of the ruling totalitarian regime.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1
    • Under the radar
      April 17, 2022

      Yeah everytime someone makes a point that doesnt agree with their little partisian views they all screech and call you a workahhsss… same people who have no dignity or morality left…

  7. Frank
    April 14, 2022

    The way this government and its employees function (or don’t) is worse than embarrassing. It has become so dependent on selling passports for cash that no-one feels like they actually have to do any work any more. Why bother when you get free money to pay other people to get their hands dirty so you can sit in an office and stare at your phone all day. It’s unsustainable and ridiculous. We’re supposed to be building back better and becoming climate resilient arent we? This road construction is one further example of how all of that is just hot air. Meanwhile the PM somehow finds enough money from his government salary to invest in palacial real estate. And all of this will just continue because Dominicans just let it happen.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2
  8. British army royal engineer
    April 14, 2022

    Any competent engineer can tell you that to calculate slope of embankment you use the height of the cut the stability of the soil. To give you the angle of cut. There is nothing wrong with the angle the slope is cut at. That’s because the cuts are not high enough to warrant steps or a less steep angle. Plus this is consolidated earth it’s solid and difficult to cut. As an engineer I hate when people who have no technical knowledge of what they are looking at call up the media and make an issue of something that is of no issue at all

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 18
    • Frank
      April 14, 2022

      have you been there and seen it for yourself ?

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1
      • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
        April 17, 2022

        I would hope that the site will not scramble this:
        Let’s use the slope formula to find the slope of the line that goes through the points (2,1)(2,1)left parenthesis, 2, comma, 1, right parenthesis and (4, 7)(4,7)left parenthesis, 4, comma, 7, right parenthesis.
        Step 1: Identify the values of x_1x
        1

        x, start subscript, 1, end subscript, x_2x
        2

        x, start subscript, 2, end subscript, y_1y
        1

        y, start subscript, 1, end subscript, and y_2y
        2

        y, start subscript, 2, end subscript.
        x_1 = 2x
        1

        =2x, start subscript, 1, end subscript, equals, 2
        y_1 = 1y
        1

        =1y, start subscript, 1, end subscript, equals, 1
        x_2 = 4x
        2

        =4x, start subscript, 2, end subscript, equals, 4
        y_2 = 7 ~~~~~~~~y
        2

        =7 y, start subscript, 2, end subscript, equals, 7.

        Step 2: Plug in these values to the slope formula to find the slope.
        \text{Slope} = \dfrac{y_2 – y_1}{x_2 – x_1} = \dfrac{7 – 1}

        • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
          April 18, 2022

          We Dominicans are suckers you know; the more ignorant and dunce we are it is the more we are prepared to make idiots of ourselves.
          Whether this person is a British Army Royal Engineer or not, I don’t know!
          Nevertheless, the person sure like hell knows what he, or she is talking about.

          How do I know?

          The person speaks of mythical slope, and “angle” some of those giving the person thumbs down do not have a name dunce more than a rat; but they putting the person down.

          Fifteen thumbs down although the person is correct!

          I posted the slope formula to find the slope of the line; I look forward to the insults, and how much I know how to google, but for the skeptics, that which you have to struggle to understand, my materials are all intellectual and text books material.

          One can only know these things when one is academically educated!

          Say I boast and how I lie, but trust me I am educated as they come!

          • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
            April 18, 2022

            “The person speaks of mythical ”

            That in the quote is an error, I meant “mathematical.”

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
      • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
        April 18, 2022

        Again Frank, take you eleven thumbs up, and shut up, you do not have a clue of what you talking about.

        Your number one (1) thumbs down is from me the kid; the eleven people who gave you thumbs up must be some eleven red devils, all of you are dunce oui!

        Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahah!

        You all cant do anything with me except try to hang, but even then my sprite will haunt you all int the pit of where all red devils burns!

    • Ti Garcon
      April 14, 2022

      Have you been to the sites in question? I too am an engineer- a Geotechnical engineer. The height and steepness of the bench are not suitable for this clayey soil which will be prone to receive alot of water during the rainy season.
      Some of these cuts are over 30ft at over 80 degree slope angles. Some areas, the edges of the slope is within 10ft from foundations supporting 2-3 story buildings. This whole thing is a mess, and there are no engineers supervising as I’ve seen.
      Last thing, local knowledge is vital in any decision making. This project was design by some foriegn Spanish firm and it shows. You talk of consolidated earth, difficult to cut?- its clay. Once the face starts cracking in the heat, then absorbing water in the rain what you think will happen. Have you ever been to Dominica? Almost every time there is heavy rain, landslides occur somewhere.
      If you were worth anything as an engineer, you would have held your tongue as it’s obvious you have never been on site.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1
      • Roger Burnett
        April 14, 2022

        I totally agree.

        The slippage at Antrim invariably follows a dry cycle which causes the clay to crack. The land then slips on absorbing water during the next wet cycle.

        Since the civil engineering blunder of twelve years ago, acres of prime land at Antrim has been washed away.

        Right up to the foundation of my building there is now a sheer twelve foot drop where once there was firm ground that you could drive around.

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
      • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
        April 18, 2022

        So, you claimed to be Geotechnical engineer, what gives you more authority on the subject matter, than the person who claimed to be a “British army royal engineer”

        Neither one or the other have a name; nevertheless, if I had two resume on my desk for consideration for an engineering job, civil or geotechnical.

        One is skilled in Geotechnical Engineering which is the science that explains mechanics of soil and rock and applications.

        And then I research the other and found “The Corps of Royal Engineers, usually called the Royal Engineers (RE), and commonly known as the Sappers, is a corps of the British Army. It provides military engineering and other technical support to the British Armed Forces.

        In this case I would have to be bias, and give the British boy the job oui!

        Hahahahahahahaha!

        Cause, cause, I doh know if you trained in Cuba, China or Venezuela, or zombie country; I would not recognized your credentials, nor engineering degree eh!

  9. RastarMarn
    April 14, 2022

    Same thing RastarMarn been saying,,,

    Dem Contractors only care about their Bottom Dollar and how much money they can save,,,

    When Public Works government employees do work they are held accountable for their performances,,,

    Dem Contractors don’t have that level of commitment to perform accordingly!!!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2
  10. En BA LA
    April 13, 2022

    Is it done? I would want to think that the roads are cut first and then the stabilization takes place?

    Is it that he spoke too soon or did he contact the engineer or talk to the foreman concerning how the project goes from there without making assumptions and raising fears that are not founded.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 25
  11. lmckoy
    April 13, 2022

    Experienced engineers who are trained in soil mechanics an slope stability know that the slope of the embankment is crucial to its stability. From the pictures provided, it appears the President of the Tipper Truckers Association has a valid concern, unless retaining structures are to be erected. The government needs to call in the engineers and contractors and have a thorough review of the work undertaken, including slope stability and water runoff control.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 2
  12. Paul Baron Former Chairman Atkinson Village Council
    April 13, 2022

    Thank you for brining to this to light Mr. Laville. These sentiments are being echoed by residents each time I we meet.

    My observations are that the works are being done in a very unprofessional manner and it can be clearly observed.

    Contrary to the works that were undertaken on the Bells Highway.

    The lever of dusk and debris on the road is also posing a health risk to residents with reparatory illnesses.
    Again as Mr. Laville suggest we welcome development but not at the cost of our health and safety.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 1
    • Sarah
      April 14, 2022

      Mr. Baron thank you for addressing the the level of dust and debris on the road. As much as I am happy for the new road I do not appreciate the dust and unfavorable driving conditions currently in the Kalinago Territory. We appreciate the new road its long over due however, we have to endure driving on broken, dusty roads. The water goes ever so often. Many of the residents are complaining to each other. I do hope we can find common ground moving forward because things may get worse before they get better.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0
  13. Bring back the kidnapped parrots
    April 13, 2022

    The precious land on Dominica is being destroyed because of UN-qualified people making road construction decisions, soon all the soil will be in the Atlantic ocean or the Caribbean sea. There will be no topsoil left it will all be washed away every time it rains.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1
  14. dissident
    April 13, 2022

    : Both the parl rep for Kalinago Territory and the minister of public works are too soft ……….they need guidance from their boss Skerrit.
    Doesn’t government have engineers alongside the consultant supervision team?
    Remember the Canfield to Pond Case road? Government had engineers on dat road to…..go to Antrim…..dat road was built on the heels of the 2009 general election!
    Who is the CTO again…….I thought it was de MMCE fella.
    What is more interesting is……Jack is not operating in his own name like before.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1
  15. Nacinimod
    April 13, 2022

    “In the ’70s when it was done, it was done in a step format and it prevented erosions; it prevented landslides. True that but some cases dwelling houses are too close to the street to effect a step gradient.

    To ameliorate this problem the road should be realigned even if that means adding additional corners but the current and proposed steep slope angles is a disaster waiting to happen.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2
  16. derp
    April 13, 2022

    Unbelievable, anyone with half a brain can see something not right with the way that is cut, a quick google image search (cutting a road straight walls) indicates the proper way it should be done. One way to fix that though is build a wall but terrace it. I hope they planning to do that…

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 2
  17. Roger Burnett
    April 13, 2022

    Likewise, the colossal blunder made at Antrim during work on the Imperial Road twelve years ago has never been resolved.

    The land slippage between road and river continues to this day. It cannot be attributed to the work of God – as has been claimed by those responsible for the blunder – but to the folly of man.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 2

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