CDB project on climate resilient road transport sector expanded to include Dominica

A road in Dominica days after Hurricane Maria

The Board of Directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has expanded the scope of an ongoing road transport project to include Dominica, given the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in 2017.

The Hurricane had a major impact on transportation infrastructure in the Eastern Caribbean country, including damage to bridges and culverts from water-borne debris, blockage of drainage structures, landslides and the erosion of unpaved roads.

The project seeks to strengthen the capacity of the Bank’s Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs) to provide road infrastructure that is resilient to natural hazards and climate change impacts. It consists of a study on approaches for mainstreaming climate resilience into the road transport sector in BMCs, as well as the piloting of these approaches in three countries—Guyana, Saint Lucia, and now Dominica.

“Hurricane Maria caused damage and losses of over US$200-million to the road transport sector in Dominica. This resulted in the loss of access to agricultural lands, local markets and ports, and the linkages needed for other critical social and economic activities. The extent of damage to road infrastructure highlighted the need to increase the resilience of the road network to the hazards that were experienced—an issue that this project will seek to address,” said O’Reilly Lewis, Division Chief, Economic Infrastructure Division, CDB.

Through the project, CDB’s BMCs will benefit from a toolkit developed to assist governments to make better decisions on investments in their road networks to improve its resilience to climate-related events. Road sector representatives will also be trained as trainers in the application of the toolkit.

The “Planning for the Integration of Climate Resilience in the Road Transport Sector in CDB BMCs” Project commenced in March 2017, and is expected to be completed in March 2019. A regional road transport sector workshop was held at CDB’s Headquarters in July 2017, where current issues in the sector were discussed and the Project was introduced to stakeholders, along with the ongoing work to revise CDB’s Transport Sector Policy and Strategy. Additional field work was done in Guyana and Saint Lucia in March and April of 2018.

The Project is being implemented under the African Caribbean Pacific-European Union-Caribbean Development Bank Natural Disaster Risk Management in CARIFORUM Countries (ACP-EU-CDB NDRM) Programme. In the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, CDB and the European Union agreed that EUR500,000 would be provided to support recovery efforts in affected BMCs.

The Project aligns with CDB’s corporate priorities of strengthening and modernising social and economic infrastructure, and promoting environmental sustainability.

 

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5 Comments

  1. August 2, 2018

    GOD BLESS the efforts of Prime Minister Skerritt for his vision and Ministerial abilities to allow such a gesture to be afforded to us. We as Dominicans are indeed grateful for the efforts of DLP.

  2. August 2, 2018

    Thank you Liz for mentioning the importance of trees for land stabilization. In earlier times bamboo was planted alongside roads for this very purpose. We now plant crotons!

    Over the last couple of months I have watched a sensitive hillside being grubbed up by back-hoes for no known reason. Previous trees and ground cover held it together. When the next heavy rains come there is every possibility that it will now slide and take the road with it.

  3. Ibo France
    July 31, 2018

    Glad to know that Dominica is now included in such a project. Too many roads are in a sad state of disrepair. Improving and increasing the network of roads in the country will bring a welcome relief to farmers, pedestrians, motorists, in fact, everybody will benefit. Let’s all hope that this project comes to fruition.

  4. July 31, 2018

    I hope the “toolkit” carries some timely words of warning, namely:

    Don’t haphazardly destabilize land that has been stable for centuries. Cutting into hillsides willy-nilly without thought to drainage and filling in bog land with millions of tons of spoil, is bound to have repercussions. Nature doesn’t like being messed about with. The same goes for building on flood planes, mid-stream bridge piers and misguidedly “training” rivers.

    The red truck logo that reads “DOMINICA STRONG” should really read “DOMINICA FRAGILE…PLEASE HANDLE WITH CARE”.

    • Liz M
      August 1, 2018

      This sounds like expert and experienced advice. But you see Roger these are pompous people and it’s sad that they won’t include you nor anyone who knows Dominica’s local terrain in routing simple consultation on lessons learned about the terrain and best practices. They will talk to yes-men and other politicians instead. Just consider what happened to a series of old-growth mango trees each over 100 years old… all cut down along the road next to the Pierce Charles Secondary school, a rampant senseless cut down my husband who is from the area said was sanctioned by the local politician, not Pubiic Works nor some govt entity, and as a direct result the land has been slipping down on the school. Old growth that were there long before vehicles when folks were walking to and from Roseau. He told us the politicIan claimed mangoes were falling on car windshields. Lol ..but Nlm (no laffing matter).

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