Plans are taking shape for the observance of World River’s Day which is observed around the globe on September 30.
Among events being explored is the hosting of a river festival and the idea of reintroducing water life into the island’s rivers.
River advocate, Fr. Franklin Cuffy is hoping that Dominicans will be able to love the rivers in Dominica.
“Right now there is a hate/love relationship with the rivers,” he said. “So we are trying to sensitize our people to love our rivers.”
Last September Hurricane Maria had a devastating impact on rivers on the island but Fr. Cuffy said with dredging is now taking place and “this augers well for our rivers.”
However, he said of equal importance is the rehabilitation or reintroduction of life into the rivers, including the “veo.”
“In fact, we had planned a Veo Festival in Morne Jaune but then (Tropical Storm) Erika affected that and since then it hasn’t happened,” Fr. Cuffy stated.
He echoed Pope Francis who said taking care of ‘our common home the earth is our responsibility.’
“I think that for us, as Catholics, as Christians, is very important: taking care of our common home,” he said.
He said that although he is not completely satisfied with the state of Dominica’s rivers, the situation is not as bad as other countries.
“We are not in the stage, for example, Trinidad where 65 percent of their water is polluted, we are not yet in that stage but if you are not careful, we can get to that stage,” he stated.
He also said without water, Dominica’s tourism product will be affected.
“So I wish the tourism department give a little more emphasis to our rivers,” Fr. Cuffy noted. “So maybe this year with a new minister for the environment and climate change, I hope we can have big, big event this year in Roseau. That is something we are looking forward to.”
He made an appeal for sponsors in the observance of World Rivers Day.