Two years after Tropical Storm Erika devastated Petite Savanne, Acting Prime Minister Reginald Austrie has revealed that come January 2018, 210 families from that community will be able to move into their new homes in Bellevue Chopin.
Speaking on state-owned DBS Radio on Monday morning, he said the government has been creative in relocating the residents.
“We, through the efforts of government, through our creativity, we have been able to embark on a massive project to relocate the entire community of Petite Savanne with the construction of 340 housing units; 2 bedroom units, 3 bedroom units and 4 bedroom units and I have been advised come January of 2018, 210 of those units will be ready for occupation,” he revealed.“That means 210 families can move into their homes, their new community in Bellevue Chopin by the end of January.”
He said also that by July 2018, the remaining housing units will be completed.
Austrie, who is also Housing Minister, the new housing development could represent a third town of Dominica.
“It’s not only we are focusing on the housing but we are also focusing on the social and entrepreneurial aspect of the village; because we are doing community centres, we are doing a farmer’s market , we will be doing some extension work on the health centre, we will be doing some work on the school,” he explained. “And so, a brand new community will be created by July of next year…”
Austrie believes that the government has done extremely well in responding to the disaster.
“As you know we lost practically two villages, Dubique and Petite Savanne and within two years we have been able to resettle over 50 families from Dubique at Centre in Grand Bay with a donation of homes by the Venezuelan government,” he stated
He thanked the Venezuelan government for coming to Dominica’s aid and rescue.
He went on to say that recently the government allocated some six housing units in Plat Ma Pierre for residents of Colihaut and Coulibistrie who were affected by Tropical Storm Erika, “and a little later this month we will be making available another six petrocasa’s donated by the Venezuelan government in that particular area.”
Austrie noted that the government will continue its efforts in rebuilding back Dominica better after the storm.
“We promised to build Dominica back bigger and better and I will leave it for the people of Dominica to judge whether our performance is good, bad, credible or not so good,” he stated. “I believe we should all take stock at this moment and reflect on where we have been on August 27th, two years ago to where we are today and how successful can we rate our recovery process.”
Erika caused damages amounting to EC$1.298-billion and 90 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was completely destroyed.
But according to Austrie, “we have been able to restore many of the water systems, 90 percent which was damaged by the storm.”
“We have been able to move on with the reconstruction of many of our roads,” he noted.