Bellevue Chopin is the main site being considered as the new home for the displaced residents of Petite Savanne, Chairman of the Ministerial Subcommittee for Resettlement, Dr. Colin McIntyre has announced.
“We think that Bellevue Chopin is an ideal piece of land,” he said. “We will select a proper piece of land to carry the necessary studies to make sure that it is suitable for that sort of development.”
Eight hundred and twenty-three residents were evacuated from Petite Savanne after the area was deemed unsafe following the passage of Tropical Storm Erika which severely affected the island on August 27.
McIntyre said the land in Bellevue Chopin is ideal, lovely and flat.
“Right now our survey division they are in there, they are looking at the topographical studies and the survey plans and looking at an additional amount of land there to look at the resettlement of the people of Petite Savanne in the first instance,” he said.
He added, “In terms of livelihood we have a lot of farmers from Petite Savanne…you don’t want to take people too far away and displace them, you cannot suddenly take them and put them in the Roseau Valley, that’s not where they are from, they will feel a little displaced. So we want to keep them as close as possible to the area where they can still feel at home.”
He stated further that the land for resettlement has to be carefully selected.
“We cannot take the people out of Petite Savanne and Dubique and put them in lands that are vulnerable or susceptible to further damage in the future, given Erika,” he noted. “Our intention is not to take the people and put them under cliffs, under mountains, under edges of rivers, floods…so we are selecting carefully.”
McIntyre also that there are other sites being considered for the general resettlement of other residents affected by Erika.
“Don’t forget we have the people of Coulibistrie, the people of Colihaut, one or two folks in Checkhall, there are a lot of people affected in Dominica,” he explained. “So we will look at all the different sites and of course as we continue to move along in terms of the policy, we will look at where is best suited.”
Meanwhile Chairman of the Technical Committee for Resettlement, Lucien Blackmoore, stated that the first priority is to deal with residents from areas that were heavily hit by the storm.
“So we are looking at Dubique, Petite Savanne, and, of course, we are looking at the areas in Coulibistrie, Colihaut, Checkhall, Paradise Valley and even the Dead End area,” he said.