The Government of the People’s Republic of China has made available a first tranche of funds for the construction of 41 houses in the Carib Territory.
Hon Housing Minister, Reginald Austrie, confirmed this during an interview with GIS News this week.
Just last year, Government announced that the PRC Government had offered to finance the construction of the houses for the island’s indigenous people. The Housing Minister said that the sites have already been identified and tenders sent out.
“The project has been approved and in fact, while we speak, we have received about half a million dollars for commencement of the project. The total value of the project is about $1.4-million. The sites have been identified but on some of the sites, there is a lot of infrastructural work to be done like in Gullet River, In St. Cyr and in Sineku, we have to do the roads and infrastructure at considerable costs. But, in areas like Mahaut River where we will be constructing four houses, at Salybia in Point we are going to be doing four, in Bataca we are doing five and in Concord we are going to be doing two. These sites are ready to go and so what we have done so far is sometime late last week, the tender documents were sent out and we are hoping that within the next two weeks, we will receive those tender documents,” he said.
Work on the houses is expected to begin before the end of the year. The Housing Minister said that this is an extension to the on-going housing revolution in the Carib Territory. He added that this a tangible demonstration of Government’s commitment to residents of the Carib Territory
“We believe that the Carib people should be singled out for special treatment and that is why the Government is doing all in its power to ensure that the Carib people are treated as a special people in Dominica; not only in terms of housing but in terms of health. You realise that we just opened a new health centre and while it was funded by a foreign entity, but the Government still made a contribution to that facility because we recognise the importance of that facility. In terms of education, in terms of health, in terms of housing, the Carib people continue to receive from this Government,” the minister stated.
Government will work with the Carib council to facilitate the allocation of the houses to residents.
“The plan we had for the forty-one Venezuelan houses, we had, based on the situation that existed at that time, so it all depends on when these houses are completed. It all depends on what the situation is at that particular point in time we will decide on the allocation of those houses. But, as usual, we are involving the Carib Council. We are involving the Parliamentary Representative. We are involving the Department of Carib Affairs. So any decision that is taken as far as development in the Carib Territory in concerned, particularly in housing, we have unanimous support and approval from the Carib people because we ensure that we are involving all the entities, all the stake holders in the Carib Territory,” he said.