Officials are expressing concerns that finding adequate shelters is proving to be a challenge for the 2018 Hurricane Season which begins mere weeks from now.
Acting local Government Commissioner, Glenroy Toussaint has said over 50 percent of shelters were damaged by Hurricane Maria last September and Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has appealed to citizens with private homes to utilize them as hurricane shelters.
“We have gone through the process of doing an assessment with all the shelters that we had for the 2017 season, and of course based on that assessment, recognize almost 50 percent of the shelters, well more than that, were impacted,” Toussaint said.
He said that some of the shelters were either destroyed or damaged, “so that in itself poses a serious challenge for us in the 2018 season in finding suitable shelters.”
He went on to say that repairs were needed on some of the damaged shelters.
“We have not been able to complete those repairs on some of them and so we have to leave them out for the 2018 season,” Toussaint stated.
He pointed out that the process of identifying shelters continues and a list for the Hurricane Season will soon be published.
Meantime, Skerrit said some communities do not have adequate shelters for the season and has appealed to the public for assistance.
“We are appealing to the general public, citizens with private homes, to avail themselves of the opportunity for us to engage you in utilizing your private homes as Hurricane Shelters,” he stated last week.
He said he has offered his own home as a Hurricane Shelter.
“I can say publicly that as I have offered my private home in my constituency as a Hurricane Shelter and we will put in place all of the necessary arrangements in the event that my fellow villagers would require a safer place to see the hurricane through, so we call on the rest of Dominica to do likewise,” he said.
The Hurricane Season begins on June 1 and stretches through to November.