Gov’t to meet Melville Hall protesters

The protest action affected scores of people including students and commuters
The protest action affected scores of people including students and commuters

It appears that the cries of bus drivers, students and those plying the Marigot to Londonderry route has not fallen on deaf ears, as government officials are expected to meet with them from 10:00 am on Thursday.

On Wednesday bus drivers stopped serving the route in protest action because sea water had invaded the road near the Douglas Charles Airport in Melville Hall.

“We cannot take more of that sea water until something is done,” Stacia Williams, a bus driver, said.

She said the problem has been occurring for years and pleas for assistance have fallen on deaf ears.

“As you know the salt from the sea water is damaging our vehicles and we have reported that to the Minister of Education and nothing has been done,” she stated.

The protest action affected scores of people including students , commuters and farmers.

Speaking to state-owned DBS Radio on Thursday, Public Works Minister, Ian Pinard, gave the assurance that the ministry is trying to get the right solution for the problem.

He described the matter as a “real bad situation” and noted that the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Works as well as the Chief Technical Officer will be meeting with the protesters to chart a way forward.

Pinard said two options are being looked at.

The first option is to construct wave breakers behind the present seawall or divert the road.

He said the first option will cost a “huge” $25-million.

The Public Works Minister said that necessary documents are being prepared and they should be taken to cabinet for review and a decision “as early as next week.”

“We are definitely committed to finding a solution,” Pinard promised.

In the meantime he is urging the bus drivers to “try their best to be calm,” as the sea swells is not always as high and things should return to normalcy by Thursday.

“I think at the end of the day we will try to see how we can facilitate in terms of the diversion, which is one of the quickest things we can do, but that will still take some time,” Pinard stated.

Meanwhile, Williams said the protest will continue.

“We will continue until we get results,” she said.

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61 Comments

  1. Malatete
    January 17, 2015

    Some bloggers have suggested rerouting the road to the north of the airfield. Apart from resolving the problem with seablast affecting vehicles and at the same time providing better access for farmers there may be another important benefit. The current stretch of problematic road could be condemned and blocked off. That area could then be raised to bring it to the existing runway elevation, which I think is close to 80 ft. Not only would that do away with the need for a high, obstructing wall at the the eastern tresshold but would allow for the runway itself to be extended by a crucial couple of 100 ft. to make landing safer and perhaps make the airport accessible to medium sized jets also.

  2. Bod
    January 16, 2015

    It’s one thing to protest for a worthwhile cause, but it’s another to severely inconvenience peopel who have nothing to do with it. Shame on you all for putting yourselves before others. Shame on you for not letting people past in emergencies, I hope your god forgives you.

  3. The Facts
    January 15, 2015

    Sea salt corrodes. The sea should not trespass over the wall. Was it built not high enough? A higher seawall/retaining wall is required. As it is also stated, the road could be diverted elsewhere. This could prove to be a costly one. Much thought and, discussions will obviously have to be conducted prior to deciding what could be done effectively to prevent this problem.

  4. rob
    January 15, 2015

    Bazzille on their tail boy…. Sister Glo was there for five years and did absolutely nothing to help the plight of the bus drivers and travelling motorists.

  5. Efficatious
    January 15, 2015

    Bus driver why don;t you keep your bus at home and let the students find their own way,I am convinced they will fend for themselves why drag them into it.They are innocent

    • anonymous
      January 15, 2015

      and when those bus drivers stay home who will drive the children?

  6. Megso
    January 15, 2015

    Simpler & cheaper solution.
    Since this occurs during a short period annually, a temporary or permanent carwash on either side of the airport. Free when the problem arises & charge for the service at other times. Pump fresh water from the Melville Hall river or is it now (Charles-Douglas river).

    • RASTAFARILEADSTHEWAY
      January 15, 2015

      That idea makes too much sense and is too simple … you need to come up with a much more complicated and expensive idea.

    • JoJo
      January 16, 2015

      Thanks for the suggestion Megso but don’t you think the seablast would not eat up that carwash also? Have you seen how that parking toll booth at the entrance to the airport has been affected in the same way. And by the way, I keep, calling that Melville Hall airport, especially when I see that flimsy monument they erected there for Rosie and Pierro. That was an election gimmick and looking so cheap and nasty, an insult to the two late leaders’ memory.

    • Barbed Dawg
      January 14, 2016

      Lol, the river came to repossess it’s airport from douglas-charles..

  7. Democracy 4 Dominica
    January 15, 2015

    Wesley and Marigot people don’t play! Enough is Enough. if this is what it takes to get the Government Attention well done my people. The rest of Dominica take note and tell Skerrit we are ready to fight for what we want. Make a statement without violence .When the people Unite together, we can move mountains. WAY TO GO ‘nough RESPECT!!!!

    • RASTAFARILEADSTHEWAY
      January 15, 2015

      Isn’t their rep Lennox Linton, why isn’t he addressing the issue?

  8. Francisco Telemaque
    January 15, 2015

    “He said the first option will cost a “huge” $25-million.”

    Such rubbish: If the Government spends twenty-five million dollars to reinforce, the back wall that will not change anything, because the pounding waves are ultimately going to cause soil erosion in the interim, and the problem will prevail, it will continue, be it in five, ten or twenty years, another twenty-five million or more will have to be spent on repairing it again.

    The only logical thing to do is a deviation of the road, as I stated previously it will have to commenced at Londondeery south of the bridge, there is already a path, intended to be used when they thought of Building the Airport in the 1950’s The same one I suggested.

    Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque

  9. Francisco Telemaque
    January 15, 2015

    V. Putin • 7 months agoLook at the ”grinning” by this useless minister, quite content on receiving instead of building your own country so as to be able to manufacture or purchase these and other commodities….PATHETIC FAILURES!!

    That is the view of a citizen of Jamaica, now believe or not the economy of Jamaica is hundreds of times lager than Dominica’s. Jamaica, is one of the most developed places in the Caribbean, yet Putin suggest the “grinning” useless minister should be building country. that comment applies to Dominica rather than Skerrit trying to industrialized the country so that we have something to sell out of the country, thus bringing revenue into the country, every minute he runs out of the country crawling on his belly begging for handouts.

  10. Liberty
    January 15, 2015

    Have we not Heared the same platitudes from goverment ministers for the past three years.Nothing is achieved even with protests.Dont hold your breath for action.

  11. real talk
    January 15, 2015

    tht is y we needed a change

  12. BreakingNews
    January 15, 2015

    The main issue there is the salt water hitting the vehicles, so what can be done at least in the interim? Get your vehicle washed asap after driving through that area: business opportunity! Build a couple of car wash/drive thru facilities, one north and one south of the area. The government could assist by providing some concessions on the materials/equipment needed for that purpose. There are two big rivers north and south of the area so water is not an issue. This will also provide jobs for some persons in the area, so it is not all gloom, here’s one solution!

  13. truth
    January 15, 2015

    Please let Hon. Pinard do his work and leave Linton alone, remember he just come in because he was invited to the ring and thank God he made it big.
    Let the Government find the money to fix their problem. They promised Dominicans a bed of roses for five more years.

  14. The Money tree
    January 15, 2015

    @real possie, you are suggesting that the DLP was able to raise party money but unable to raise money to help Dominica? I thought it was the same DLP in power? Concerning Linton and money raise, Linton was not in government, did not sell our passports etc. Therefore uwp money cannot be our money. Two different things sir. Furthermore, the record will show that Linton was able to raise money before he got into politics to fight court battles against criminals that stole our money. So you are no damn educator! Take this truth in you pipe and smoke it to bed. You too sort!

  15. grell
    January 15, 2015

    state of malice dominica simple.

  16. Mamizoo
    January 15, 2015

    What irks is the fact that Blackmore had a same field trip to the same site with government technicians from the the ministry of communications and works. The people have been complaining for more than 5 years yet we see idiots like Joe and Real Porssie come on DNO and show off their ignorance. Now that the minister says it is a “real bad situation” we have not seen the monkeys like Joe , Fast N Furious – yes I said it

    Note sure why wave breakers / energy dissipaters would cost $25 million. A huge B.S I must say.
    I too think that an extended installation of dollos would help solve the problem. I believe to that we should focus on fabricating the dollos ourselves as oppose to importing – a huge saving.

    • Titiwi
      January 17, 2015

      Blackmoore was removed from his post and now we know why. But still he keeps meddling in his new position as Min. responsible for security and sent his paramilitary to intimidate the people instead. Boy, some people love power yes!

  17. Annox
    January 15, 2015

    Its better than because it use to be a swamp be4 the back wall and as they say its cause dey party not in power they want to put a strain on the government. Am not saying the road cant fix but is the enginer that hav to be blamed not the government. They tried their best.

  18. Domdom
    January 15, 2015

    Writing from the U.S. I agree with you cousin Stacia and all the others. Do not give up. Good job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Marcus Hill
    January 15, 2015

    The Venezuelans backed the sea to extend the runway for night landing so in effect you have to drive in the “sea” at the end of the runway. The sea wall is too low to stop the Atlantic Ocean waves and it can not be higher othewise it will obstruct the plane’s landing path. This is just a bad piece of engineering period!!

    Two possible solutions:
    1. Build a tunnel under the runway in a straight line from the Melville Hall bridge to the other side of the runway. You will avoid the sea blast.

    2. Drive across the runway. There will be stop signs and barriers similar to those that exist when vehicles have to cross a railway track. I have seen this in a least one airport but admitedly it is not a very busy one.

    It will be cheaper than building a tunnel but personally I do not like this option because it is too dangerous and seems like a set up for a plane to crash into a vehicle. But one thing is clear: the current situation is not tenable.

  20. January 15, 2015

    just exposing that dominicans are a pack of fools all the time putting the cart before the horse no got thoughts at all.Dominica stick in a holeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee a very deepppppppppp one

  21. Anthony Ismael
    January 15, 2015

    What is the cost of the second option as this was omitted from Government’s initial response. Is it more or less than $25 million?

  22. Fair play
    January 15, 2015

    The money wasted on constructing the Grand Bay sea wall could have been better spent on eliminating this problem.

    • southcity to the wor
      January 15, 2015

      You are hating on grand bay wow think of a way to get your own

    • Ma Moses
      January 17, 2015

      That seawall at Grandbay was necessary too. Besides, I always thought that was paid for by Japan.

  23. The Money tree
    January 15, 2015

    The way we just spent money in a vikivi way, during the 2014 election campaign caused me and the entire world to think Dominica had a money tree. What is the minister crying about now? Where are our friendly governments? Have they become unfriendly? What about asking the like of Donnie Mc Clerkin for a donation? After all, the man is rich, he just visited Dominica to help us praise our god with his labor ka twavie T shirt on. The man is generous, and in june 2014, he donated $625K to the Jamaican Government http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Donnie-McClurkin-donates–60m-in-medical-supplies-to-Ja_16782464. So why not ask him? But that might not work you know because he might say, Dominica is a very rich country because they just paid me and other foreign artists big money to come and perform for an hour during their election campaign. So just look for other avenues or trim the money tree man

    • real possie
      January 15, 2015

      The money tree, you all need some kind kindergarten teacher to come explain how things work, the money that was spent on election was party money not the state money. Am I to say the money linton spent to go all over the world he could’ve spent it on his constituency road? America was in a recession when Obama was first trying to become a president, did both parties not spend millions on the election? don’t get me wrong that was poor planning on the Government side because before they pushed the road even further into the sea it was a problem so I will give them slack for that.

      • Lang Mama
        January 15, 2015

        Geee up donkey. Brrrrrr bowik powel

      • The Money tree
        January 15, 2015

        @real possie, you seem to know a lot about the money and dlp money. Tell us about the lone Mercedes Bennz in Dominica since it is always around the possie area. Is it party money as well? Just asking because you are the educator and you know your stuff. FYI, If passport money formed part of the campaign money, that can’t be party money. Please give us FOOL account information so we could see who is the source of money, date transferred, who did the transfer and what was it for ok. Is then and only then I will be satisfied with your explanation

      • Peter Potter
        January 15, 2015

        Are you sure and do you have proof that it was ‘Party money’? Where did the Party get all that money from, I mean 30M is not chicken feed? Or could it be that the money came out of the ‘Passport sale kitty’? One day we’ll know.

      • PS
        January 17, 2015

        You mean to tell me that our DLP had more than $30 million in their account? How is that possible in a poor country like Dominica? Maybe they cater for the rich and not the poor to be blessed with such wealthy supporters.

  24. leg
    January 15, 2015

    To me the Same …Edison.james former pm is from marigot this problem is how many decades old
    why now mention about money spent for campaign…. something
    Needs to be done yes but in due time

    • wow
      January 15, 2015

      Leg, it is not the same problem. That problem is as a result of the new wall that was build . The design of the project was bad and the government was told so by our local engineers. But they did not listen.

      • anon
        January 15, 2015

        @wow, do you know what you are talking about? I grew up in that area and as far as I can remember the sea comes into that area at will going all back to point. Bus drivers now talking about sea water damaging their vehicle what a load of crap, you live in marigot and sea blast will damage your vehicle no matter what. Look at the steel frames that were erected at melville hall, the sea blast took care of them in quick time. The problem is an inherited one as the site for the airport was bad, the present site makes no allowance for improvement. When one considers that there are now 2 possible locations to build and international airport. The question is why was melville hall chosen instead of Londondery or Compton point? I guess we will never know. Divert the road to the top of the runway.

    • justcorrecting
      January 15, 2015

      You do recognize that this problem was created by the labour party when they extended the airport strip for night landing purposes? The road was then diverted to the sea. Before that time, the only issue with that area was during hurricanes and extreme tropical depressions. It seems that it is a common occurrence now.

      • anon
        January 16, 2015

        “Before that time, the only issue with that area was during hurricanes and extreme tropical depressions. It seems that it is a common occurrence now.”……@justcorrecting, stop playing with the truth to extend your political agenda. Anyone who have lived in the Marigot Wesley area will dispute the rubbish you are talking. I know that area before there were any seawalls and even before the airport was built, and the sea always encroached on the road without hurricane or tropical depression to help it.

      • wayne
        January 17, 2015

        You are correct only when the sea was rough and the road wasn’t in the sea as it is now, it was just a little puddle on some days nothing much to cause major sea water damage to people’s vehicles. On sunny days with no rain and calm sea, the road there actually used to be dry. So no it wasn’t always this bad.

    • D
      January 15, 2015

      So becuase Edison was parl rep.. he would have make various pleas in the house and in the media and nothing has been done. Now the bus driver and school children have to demonstrate to hear something will be done …stupesssss

  25. w90
    January 15, 2015

    :) :wink: :-D :-D :-| 8) :-? :-P :-x :?: :oops: :twisted:

  26. The Voice of god
    January 15, 2015

    “He said the first option will cost a “huge” $25-million.” It seem to me that Ian Pinard is bawling on the cost of the first option, so here are some suggestions sir:

    1. Why don’t you call DLP campaign manager and UN Ambassador , Vince Henderson for assistance?
    2. How much did we pay Beres Hammond & The Harmony House Band to perform at the DLP campaign again?
    3. What about Tasha Cobbs, How much did we pay her again during the campaign?
    4.How much did we pay Donnie Mc Clerkin again for his 2014 performance of DLP campaign?
    5. What about the Jamaican Reggae artist? I am lost now! We have money and money is no problem for us.. So please don’t start to bawl Mr. Pinard. Just say the word and money cometh to us, thanks to PM Roosevelt Skerrit

  27. DA Girly
    January 15, 2015

    So you see, the people are incompetent and are not doing proper research before building structures. Soon we will hear of all the made in China projects. And Most definitely we do not want a made in China Hospital.

  28. NKRUMAH KWAME
    January 15, 2015

    It is so sad that for the citizens of this beloved country get responses from Government ONLY when/after they have taken to the streets!! It is at least three (3) years now since the “improvements’ were completed at Melville Hall and users have been complaining from the inception. The govt seems to enjoy these situations as, in my view, the issue should have been resolved LONG before now.
    I sincerely wish to congratulate the new Minister of Public Works on his understanding and the dispatch with which he has dealt with the matter and call on the government to take all concerns of the population SERIOUSLY. They were elected to SERVE us.
    HOTEP!

  29. Thor
    January 15, 2015

    So in other words the government has taught Dominicans that in order to get action they must resort to blocking roads and causing chaos.

    Great!!!

    • Mahaut
      January 15, 2015

      If government officials had ignored the protesters, allu would complain. They plan to meet with them, allu complaining. The Marigot issue is not the only one affecting DA; however, the action by the people will cause the gov’t to make it a priority on their issues list, and I applaud them for that.. Stop banging on the government. They cannot attend to everything at once.

  30. The Evangelist
    January 15, 2015

    He said the first option will cost a “huge” $25-million.
    Did Ian Pinard do his research? Did he do his maths? Does he understand that we know the huge cost of $25-million to build wave breaker behind the existing wall was actually there before the $33-million spent on the last campaign? Is he suggesting that the campaign was more important than protecting the investment of nationals? Oh my God help us!

    • LawieBawie
      January 16, 2015

      I don’t know much about how funding for political campaigns are handled so please don’t murder me for asking these questions!! First of all did that money come out of the Dominica treasury? Secondly, where has that figure of $33 million come from? Because if you can justify these, I would be very disappointed at this administration for spending that sum of money on political campaigning when there are so many other necessary things to do with money in Dominica.

  31. Malgraysa
    January 15, 2015

    I;m happy the problem gets the attention it deserves, Interestingly the original cost for that project was also $25 million, so if we spend the same amount again that would have cost us $50 million in total and still there would be the risk of seawater on the road. I’m no expert but think that rerouting the road to the north of the airport would certainly be the preferred option , also for the farmers in that area, and perhaps cheaper too. If Skerrit want to score points that would be the way to go.

  32. Bull Crap
    January 15, 2015

    So the engineers that designed and built the sea wall int he first place never thought of that.. we don’t seem to plan for the future in this country.. only care about the now…

  33. Hmmm
    January 15, 2015

    Interestingly, the contents of that story do not match the sentiments being shared yesterday condemning the protests.

    Maybe because the government acknowledges the role it could play it making the situation better.

    We are always so eager to spout off without having all the facts.

    Good job Pinard for addressing the issue as it should be!

  34. Ey
    January 15, 2015

    When that project was being done I am aware that the technician in that same ministry told government of the problem it would cause. They also made recommendation on the best way to build the wall. While I agree that it would have cost more , it was not coming close to what we are now looking at to fix the problem(25 million). Cabinet for the sake of the country please listen to your experts.

  35. Neutral
    January 15, 2015

    Have patience bus drivers. Mr Pinard is working at your interest and the rest of Dominicains too. What about Marigot representative Lennox Linton. How comes he too is not trying to assist in this situation. Shame on him MARIGOT PASSE WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Nac Vibes
      January 15, 2015

      I will give credit where credit is due. The Minister said they will meet with the aggrieved and try to find a solution and that is what should have happened befor now, so lets talk, shame it had to take protest action to get to this point when everyone new of the problem.

      Now with regards to your silly comment about Mr Linton, he has only just become a member of Parliament where he will be able to argue more decisively and indeed he has been arguing for a solution like many other people, soas you obviously have no idea what you are talking about, keep quiet.

      • Neutral
        January 15, 2015

        Face reality. Mr Linton does not have to be in parilement at this present moment to come up with ideas as to how this problem could and will be solved. READ THIS WELL. HE HAS SAID NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!! Let this ring in your ears. HE HAS SAID NOTHING. MARIGOT PASSIVE WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Its like he has forgotten the Marigot community already. Which is of no suprise to us. Where can you find any document, speak or so forth that he has been arguing about the problem and trying to solve it. GET REAL.

      • Titiwi
        January 17, 2015

        Ehben, neutral…my a..s! You all government signed off on that project and now when you have problems you are bawling for mr. Linton to come and fix it? Behave yourself.

    • January 15, 2015

      Stop your ignorance because it tells us that you don’t know the function of the Opposition so try to educate yourself before making your comments , Mr.Pinard responded to the issue and Mr.Linton as well as others from the area will be monitoring the situation before jumping the fence.

      • 19794eva
        January 15, 2015

        NICEEE :) social studies book sharing on dno…

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