Decentralization of EOC and construction of regional hurricane shelters on the cards for Dominica

WFP responders in front of EOC HQ building after Hurricane Maria

With another hurricane season underway, the Office of Disaster Management (ODM) has revealed plans to decentralize its operations.

An ODM official told DNO that plans are afoot to locate a mini Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) and a warehouse in the village of Castle Bruce.

According to the ODM, this move will ensure that at the district level, there is some sort of storage facility and a point to manage a situation from the districts.

Construction and funding of these facilities will be undertaken by the Humanitarian Assistance (HAP) Programme of US southern Command and the USAID/United States Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance. The project is already in the design stage by the US Contractors and the next step will be to subcontract to locals, the ODM official said.

He stated that the project will not be completed during the 2018 hurricane season but will certainly start before the end of the season.

Castle Bruce has also been chosen as one of the venues for the construction of two regional hurricane shelters based on the plans announced by the ODM. The other shelter will be located in Jimmit.

The Castle Bruce facility is expected to serve residents from the Kalinago Territory to Petite Soufriere and the one in Jimmit will serve the area which includes Tarreau, Mahaut and Massacre as well as vulnerable parts of the Roseau District catchment area.

The ODM says that the regional shelters are not meant to replace community shelters but to bolster hurricane shelter capacity in the areas in which they are located. It is expected that when constructed, the shelters will accommodate between 150 and 200 people.

This project is still in the planning stages and according to the ODM, it is expected that funding will be provided by the EU.

Acting local Government Commissioner, Glenroy Toussaint has said that over 50 percent of shelters were damaged by Hurricane Maria last September and some of them would not be repaired in time for the 2018 season.

This situation prompted Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit to appeal to citizens with private homes to utilize them as hurricane shelters.

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  1. Franck
    July 2, 2018

    Stable door, bolting horse and all that. I can’t take the ODM seriously.

  2. Anthony P. Ismael Minister of Free Pampers
    July 2, 2018

    We have adequate data on the damage that was done and wind speeds during hurricanes. We need to conduct wind tunnel testing and build climate resistant facilities on the island. Each village should have at least one facility designated as a hurricane shelter. Schools are normally used for that endeavor, however if the school structures are poorly designed, the end results will be the same as always.

  3. Ibo France
    July 2, 2018

    Hopefully, this present Hurricane Season, will be uneventful. This will give the relevant authorities sufficient time to build adequate, well fortified hurricane shelters. There should be no excuses as the government got millions in donations to do just that. These shelters should be well stocked and well manned. This is the time to get it right as many developed countries are now suffering from donor fatigue.

  4. vrai den
    July 2, 2018

    Nine months after a category 8 hurricane,(they just don’t measure beyond 5) that just about destroyed and affected at least 90% of housing in Dominica, government, who is elected to serve the people and provide for these needs, have not built or repaired shelters. These are basic needs in an environment that i highly prone to hurricane destruction. So when the government do not provide for the people who elected them, it becomes the duty of the private citizen to offer their homes as shelters? As usual Dominicans are usually good neighbors and help their fellow man, but for this to be the plan and hope of the government, is not acceptable at all. This is poor provision for a problem that existed even before Maria. We did not have adequate shelters then, and we sure don’t have them now, in another hurricane season.
    We need shelters in every community, but instead homes that were uncovered and destroyed are still that way, with people trying to live in them, under tapauline, getting…

    • Neville
      July 3, 2018

      This government is useless and not up to the job to serve the people. All they are interested in is to serve themselves and their bank accounts. It’s time to rise up. This regime needs to go before they destroy our island completely.

  5. Zandoli
    July 2, 2018

    This is a good start but much more needs to be done to get Dominica hurricane ready. There ought to be properly built shelters to house fully half of the population. There should be warehouses that are stocked with food, water, medical supplies, cutlasses, chainsaws, batteries, chlorine tablets and everything else to get people past the first two weeks after a hurricane.

    That is what the government should embark on. It is not good enough to be getting into high gear every time AFTER a hurricane. We all know it will happen again. We need to be better prepared to look after ourselves than having to look to others to take care of us after a hurricane.

    • Paul Rossnof
      July 3, 2018

      Rather than doing tangible things that would benefit everybody immediately, the dictator rather preaches to us about the first climate resilient country. Pie in the sky as per usual!

  6. Charles
    July 2, 2018

    So do we need a regional centre in the north or Skerrit can use his private mansion in V.Case as a centre? Just asking….

  7. Karl Orndem
    July 2, 2018

    hopefully we dont get any hurricanes this year. Otherwise those shelters will be too late.

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