Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit on Tuesday met with Professors Gerald M. Boodoo, Robert Sroufe and John Stolz from Duquesne Universitywhere they got the opportunity to look at some of the things the country has done thus far.
The University has also outlined its plans to assist Dominica in a number of areas.
“Our friends are here to look at what we have done because we have shared with them a number of things, the literature of what we have done so far. They have reviewed it independently and they have said to us that they believe that they can focus on a few areas that they believe that they have tremendous know-how and experience in,” he stated.
According to Skerrit Duquesne University is completely self-sufficient where energy is concerned and he said he was totally impressed with how they went about generating energy, “and the management of this you know is amazing.”
“So, they are able to come to us and assist us with our energy policy because it’s an evolving process. It’s not cast in stone; there are things that you can improve upon,” the prime minister stated. “So, critically for us, they have expertise in sustainable development and also assisting the private sector, assisting investors, to look at issues of sustainability, look at issues of resilience, look at the issue of climate change and to better position themselves to see a return on their investment and not wanting to have these immediate returns.”
“It is important for us to appreciate that while we would like to move faster, faster doesn’t mean we will get there on time,” Skerrit noted. “You may very well get into an accident, rather than driving safely and knowing that you will get there.”
He mentioned that his government has taken the more difficult route because building resilience requires tremendous planning.
“It requires a lot of reviews. It requires tremendous resources because to build stronger you need to spend more money and this is why I have said to us in Dominica that this government could have housed 5000 people or build the 5000 homes which we announced that we will build to provide safer homes to our citizens,” he said.
He added, “We have decided to take the better route of ensuring that we employ modern technology to help design those homes and to help construct those homes.”
He said it is obviously costing more money to build the homes and there’s also the challenge of “where you build them.”
Skerrit said his government is employing a mix of housing interventions and has also opted to go the route of apartments in some communities because apartments require less land space.
“We also have to guard against the continued practice in Dominica of utilizing fertile, arable agricultural lands that are accessible to farmers for housing,” he noted. “And we have seen a lot of our farm lands that are more accessible transform into housing residential areas.”