Morne Rachette, Coulibstrie residents protest excavation works by Wacky Rollers

Section of Layou Valley destroyed by flooding earlier this year

Villagers of Morne Rachette and Coulisbistrie community turned out in large numbers Monday to protest against excavation works to be conducted by Wacky Rollers to accommodate river tubing activity in the river there.

Wacky Rollers lost their operations in Layou following the devastation of the area by massive flooding caused by the collapse of the Matthieu  Dam earlier this year.

But that decision by Wacky Rollers to relocate did not go down well with the villagers there.

Villagers are saying that the livelihood of fishermen and various businesses will be affected.

“We are not against development but this cannot happen just like that,” one villager said.

He claimed that they were no information prior to the works by Wacky Rollers.

“They want to divert our river in Batali. We are not in support of that. Our fishermen will be at a disadvantage and if they block one river to accommodate another river is not going to work,” the villager said.

Officials of Wacky Rollers are expected to meet with villagers on the matter.

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54 Comments

  1. shaz
    November 28, 2011

    alyou had a wooden glasses when you pass macoucherie?? why not do your tubing there???

  2. shaz
    November 28, 2011

    yeah the same mullets and crayfish they saying not to fish now they going to kill all of them????? boy alyou people get real eh and find somewhere else to go

  3. common sense
    November 22, 2011

    some of u ppl have no brains! i would luv one person who is against wacky rollers putting their tubing in that area to tell me how it going to prevent the locals from going on with their fishing, washing and drinking? wacky rollers and removoing stones in a river which was place there by a man, its not like God put it there, but listen to you ppl talk about fight for it. what for all u dominicans to make noise about all u mouth shut but things that not really going to do anything to all u give all u room to run all u big mouths.

  4. @2
    November 22, 2011

    seriously i think those ppl just too backward! waky rollers moving is betta so ppl can get a chance to put up stalls along the route to the riva money dey gonna make wi! bt no let them make noise. to me i see dat was a way for ppl to get jobs

  5. true
    November 22, 2011

    When you have money in DA you can do anything eh, WACKY rollers just concern about themselves and not the locals, don’t mess with the river.

    • February 20, 2013

      The idea should be taken up by the Coulibistrie people. Find a biger river Wacky.

  6. Anonymous
    November 22, 2011

    I have no problem with people posting comments. My problem lies with people who post comments without fully being informed.
    1. How is Sunset bay being affected?
    2. How is the livelihood of the fishermen going to be affected?
    3. What other businesses are being affected?
    Can someone please answer these questions for me?

  7. Anonymous
    November 22, 2011

    Why aren’t you posting my comments?

  8. Lagbee Girl
    November 22, 2011

    How is Wacky Rollers moving to Batalie creating jobs for people in the area? Wacky roller is not creating a new venture but moving their operations to Batalie from Layou – so all his workers moving with him. Did Mr. Roll ‘dig Up’ the Layou river when he started – i cannot recall so maybe not. Layou is a much larger river than Batalie – and Batalie river pack up with large boulders so stones will have to be remove.

    So why he skip the next river from Layou. A perfect river for his tubing. The Land owner
    ‘doh’ want him on Rum Estate but want him on mango Estate. Everything we want done in Coulibistrie we have to demonstrate , people demonstrate cause when Dowasco water ‘go’ is Batalie we going for our drinking water and water going every time a little rain fall. Every time people in the area building a little toilet Rolle coming down stopping but them big projects he not stopping. So people that talking hold all you ‘…’
    Wacky go Roseau. go Porsie them rivers better for tubing

  9. Anonymous
    November 22, 2011

    Common people! Lets be realistic and honest. What has Sunset Bay done for the people of Coulibistrie or Morne Rachette? How many of their employees are even from that area? Why isnt anyone bitching about the fact that these people are pumping water out of the river to use in their hotel. Isn’t that putting your own business at risk?

    • Lagbee Girl
      November 22, 2011

      so why not tell us where the workers from. So Wacky will replace all his workers and take new workers from the area and train them… Wow Hurray for Wacky Rollers. Stupes

    • November 22, 2011

      It is always important that when we get the chance to express our opinions in the public that we get our facts straight before we try to make people understand what we are trying to say.

      With that being said let’s deal with the facts.

      1. The work force of the Sunset Bay Club & SeaSide Dive Resort comes FROM the area. 1 from Morne Rachette, 2 from Coulibistrie. By extension, employees come from Colihaut to the north and St. Joseph to the south. And that is direct employment.

      2. In businesses like this one there are a number of INDIRECT employment opportunities such as: to farmers, Fishermen, carpenters, babysitters, Taxi drivers, e.t.c. they all leave in the area.

      Along with an international organization, we recently embarked on a one week of Dive Certification training for children between the ages of 12 and 14 years. That was at no cost to the kids. Children from the area and as far as Roseau and we provided free transportation. That was held in October.

      About Pumping water from the river, I think we should be commended on our efforts to market Dominica’s natural water resource.

      “Just so you Know”

  10. stupes
    November 22, 2011

    HEY THIS IS DELICATE AND WE SHOULD ALL COMMENT RESPONSIBLY BEACUSE WE CANNOT WITHDRAW OUR COMMENTS ONCE WE SEND THEM AND I AM SURE WE ALL WOULD LIKE OUR COMMENT TO BE COMENTS THAT ASSIST IN CORRECTING THE PROBLEM AND. THE EXCAVATING WORKS SHOULD BE TERMINATED AND A SERIES OF MEETING / CONSULTATIONS COMMENCED WITH THE COMMUNITY WHERE EDUCATION WOULD TAKE PLACE AFTER AN APOLOGY, FROM THE BUSINESS ENTITY AND AUTHORITY THAT AUTHORIZED THIS DEVELOPMENT. THE MP MUST ALSO BE INVOLVED I THIS ALONG WITH ALL COMMUNITY GROUPS SENDING REPRESENTATIVES TO THESE SESSIONS OR DO THEM OPEN TO ALL WHO CARES TO ATTEND. WE MUST NOT JUST JUMP ON THE POLITICAL TRAIN FOR EVERY SITUATION, THIS CANNOT BE HEALTHY FOR US AS NATURE ISLANDERS. MR ROLLE MUST UNDERSTAND THE PEOPLE’S CONCERN AS HE TOO WAS A VICTIM OF ANOTHER TYPE OF DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITY IN THE LAYOU VALLEY. I HOPE THAT I WAS OF ASSISTANCE TO ALL.

  11. gwada
    November 22, 2011

    lord please; take control, i do not know the reason of all this, but u know, what has to be done daddy, let it be , have your own way lord , in jesus name amen

  12. grell
    November 22, 2011

    cant believe that our country has become such a mess,and some of these people still support a government that do not care about how they survive.sad very sad wake up my people,skerro is good to go his assets are safe.

  13. Anonymous
    November 21, 2011

    go ahead mr rolle dont give up

  14. Anonymous
    November 21, 2011

    dominican dont like development the manager of sunset bay club dont want to put proper water service in the hotel dats why she mad we poor people payin for water and they dont pay for water

    • Malatete
      November 22, 2011

      Who is stopping you from going to the river to get your water also? That’s what most of our people did within living memory.

    • November 22, 2011

      you are an idiot

    • November 22, 2011

      First of all, The water system of the Hotel is NOT the main issue here. FYI, We are dedicated to provide a service at the maximum to our clients; You pay for the water and complains all the time with the water issue. There is always a shortage of water and you never know when.

      The main reason why we use the water from the River is to promote Dominica’s Natural pure water. It is something very important to the visitors to know that they can drink from a natural source which is pure. Also, setting up an independent water intake at the Hotel prevents us and our clients from having any inconvenience, In so doing we never have the problem of water shortage. How would you feel if you are on vacation at a hotel just come in from a tour or a hike whatever the case may be, you open the tap and there is no water?

      We also have a purifying system at the Hotel. The water is tested every year at a cost. The Operational cost of a system of this kind is very expensive. Then there is the maintenance cost that comes with it, These expenses has to be met on a yearly or quarterly basis.

      Lastly Poverty is a state of mind. If you consider yourself poor you will remain poor.

      This has nothing to do with poor people and rich people we are all here fighting for a cause.

      You need to see the bigger picture. You talk about “POOR” People. Do you know how many “POOR” People will be out of a job????

  15. Kent JB
    November 21, 2011

    We all want development but this is so wrong nothing good will come out of this for the people of Morne Rachette and Coulibistrie we can,t let this happen .

  16. postage
    November 21, 2011

    By the way Who owns Wacky Rollers? And who is this senior officer at Planning division??? same person? or brothers which is it? what ever the case. conflict of interest… Ahhh I see where the permission came from.

  17. ..........
    November 21, 2011

    All u pple cannot b serious! Y wacky not tryin to fix their compound instead of tryin to mess up pple livelyhood!! Leave our river how it is nd find somewher else. Hibiscus goin rite concord nd do thir tubin tours do d same nd leave dem pple alone!! Nd pple in da who think they’re d bigger bosses too like to jus do wat they want nd ignorin those it will affect! Time to put down our foot nd put dem in their place

  18. me
    November 21, 2011

    This is a tricky situation, developement or livelyhood… I think this should be thought of much more and people should be called to a meeting before that started. I must say theres not much thing I take a neutral position on, but this is one, there’s pros and cons.

  19. Cerberus
    November 21, 2011

    Apart from any other considerations both Whacky Rollers and Sunset Bay are members of the DHTA. How could one member do this to another without proper consultation? yes, Whacky Rollers suffered but not only because the river got silted up. There was already a prior issue with the location of the Layou asphalt plant. There was an outcry about injustice then, quite rightly so but now you want to inflict injustice on on someone else? This is plain wrong.

  20. DA to D Bone
    November 21, 2011

    Now this is serious. Every prospective, lucrative business venture should follow due diligence, ie, meeting with the stakeholders before the ” OK” was given.’

    I believe that we the villagers need more business to come into our area, but seeing that we have to leave with the good, bad and ugly that comes with this or any venture, we would like to be part of the vetting process.

    This is blatant dis-respect that the Government has granted an OK and yet to meet with the villagers.
    We do not have the luxury like some of the Government ministers to cool off under the air condition homes, but instead, our comfort comes from a cool relaxing river and sea bath which we share with all Dominicans and visitors alike. Please don’t just take that away from us like a thief in the night.

    The sunset Hotel is one of DA most viable hotels ( always full to capacity) will definitely feel the heat if the river is diverted away from their establishment and we will then loose the few local jobs and families will loose their livelihood ( fishermen, farmers, construction/builders, bus/taxi tour operators and service employees.

    This is not political on our side, but the way it is done , leads to the political bias by the Government. Lets correct this mess and get WE THE PEOPLE involve.

    One Love Dominica

  21. Outrageous
    November 21, 2011

    We are beginning to experience flooding in Dominica. Leave the rivers on our west coast alone.
    Why not dredge Roseau River? Everything has already gone to Roseau. Deepwater harbour Roseau, Ferry Terminal,Roseau. Just follow the tradition, dredge the Roseau River and conduct your business there!

  22. mouth of the south
    November 21, 2011

    i’m still watching how this one unfolds…. but i’m siding with the residents of morne rachette and environs…. whoever gave permission for such under-taking clearly not a bright bulb or simply maliciously wicked

  23. Nigel paul
    November 21, 2011

    Who would give permission for something of this nature. Are they out of there cotton picking mind. Why would a government of a country such as dominica allow someone or anyone to divert an existing river which benefit the entire community and main water supply and source to promote such a ridiculous sporting activity. What economic impact does this activity have on the country. I am so flipping mad right now that JFK was there I would cause serious hurt and harm to the people carrying on this excavation

    • Anonymous
      November 21, 2011

      But that is what they did at Melville Hall for the foolish night landing air strip expansion that still isn’t!

    • Waiti girl
      November 21, 2011

      Is your mind that is cotton-picking. Are you aware that Sunset Bay objected and raised the alarm because the river close to them is where they get their water for their hotel? Now they made all their debas the authorities got to know hat kind of water they are using in their hotel instead of connecting to Dowasco. But the best joke is that the people from forestry that cause all the problem never saw when Sunset Bay made that old water connection from the river nor did they see when Gadhakan was washing his vehicles in the layou river while people bathing. Forestry fellas do your work without fear or favour. MASSA DAY DONE or haven’t you heard!! Rolle boy go somewhere else

      • dion
        November 22, 2011

        Taking water from a river for domestic use is an issue for Dowasco and Environmental Health to address and not Forestry. Our Laws are outdated.The washing of vehicles in a river should be an offence but itis not on the Books. there must be evidence of fish kill. This is unfortunate.

        Please speed up Amendments of Fisheries and Forestry Laws and Regulations.

      • Roz
        November 22, 2011

        Sometimes i swear the people in authority sleeping on them. But is so planning and the rest does operate. After the fact. For example, houses should have 10 feet away from public roads. Where you see that being implemented? people building the step to their door on the main road. nobody says anything or does anything.

  24. concerned resident
    November 21, 2011

    What about the new block factory planned in Salisbury closed to houses. We market the island as an a nature island but we accept old cars near Macoucherie rum factory, Wacky rollers diverting a river ( Ophelia was not enough)blocks factory in Salisbury when workers from P williams don’t get paid and have no new project? Nayah valley project stopped leaving a non finished I don’t know what direct by the bay . It is only what I see on the central west coast . Is there more i don’t know ?

  25. dion
    November 21, 2011

    The Government of Dominica need to state clearly which department is responsible for our rivers. Various depts have various jurisdiction.

    Walky Rollers took the wrong approach and to make matters worse the chief Physical Planner thought the project was feasible. What information was used to come to this conclusion.

    The proper approach should be a submission of a proposal to planning who would circulate to all stakeholders including the Village Council, the fishermen, the hotelier and the relevant govt agencies. The proposal is review by the stakeholders and base on their submission planning would either accept or reject the proposal.If accepted planning will draw up guidelines along any concerns raise in the submissions.

    This type of intervention behind the back of people will always result in what happened at Batali today and it has only placed the developer and the planning Division in bad light as environmental pirates.

    Some questions which needs to be answered include.

    1. Should a fine be imposed for such intervention without planning permission?

    2. What is the current flow rate of the rivers?

    3. What is the projected flow rate after the intervention?

    4. What is the likely impact on the tourism plant next door?

    5. What is the flood risk to the fishermen in the area and the coastal highway?

    6. If their are damages resulting from interfering with the river dynamics who will be held responsible?

    • Anonymous
      November 21, 2011

      Well said. This just shows how well our Government agencies follow protocol. I would really like to see the Environmental Impact Assessment that was done and how it would affect the bio- diversity of our rives and the high amounts of our flora and fauna, which includes the large population of iguanas that are found in the Batalie area ( which attracts many visitors.

      What are these so called experts in the planning Division doing?

    • Anonymous
      November 21, 2011

      You are absoloutely right. But no procedure is ever followed. Planning Division has no proper order. Their incompetence has been a downfall in Dominica for a long time. Until Planning Division is not revamped things like this will continue to happen.

  26. Dave Laudat
    November 21, 2011

    We welcome any form of development in our community. In fact wacky roller in Bathalie is a great idea. The point is how can you decide to discontinue a river that has been there from creation. We would need to look at the impact that this would have on the eco-system, how it affects existing business like the Sun Set Bay Club and what the users of the community think about this. It is gross disrespect to grant permission to conduct such an operation without prior consultation with the stakeholders. Please let us do our business right. As I see it, I will discourage meeting with the investor before meeting with the Government regulation agencies. We need the state regulators or licencing agencies to talk to us about the investor’s intention and assess the impact that this operation can have in its proposed form. Only then we can reasonably arrive at the best mix for this operation. As for the closure of one route of the river, this is a No No!!!!!! This totally ignore the Sun Set Bay Club operation. The Hotel was placed in the area within a context i.e. Sea and river. You cannot now alter the environment that was the attraction for the hotel. Wrong business. Please have a little respect for Coulibistrie, Morne Rachette and SunSet Bay Club.

  27. Doc.Love
    November 21, 2011

    I CAN REMEMBER WHEN MY DAD USE TO PLAY FOOTBALL, THEIR WAS A TERM THE FOOTBALL CROWD USE TO CROW ESPECIALLY JUST BEFORE THE GOALKEEPER WOULD COLLECT THE BALL AND THAT CROW WAS BOORAG HIM, I.E KNOCK HIM DOWN. WHAT IS BEING DONE BY SKERRIT AND HIS GOVERNMENT IS TO BOORAG THE PEOPLE FROM PWD,WOODFORD HILL, MORNE RACHETTE, COULISBISTRIE AND DOMINICANS BY EXTENSION THAT DOES NOT SUPPORT HIM OR HIS GOVERNMENT.IN ONE DAY DOMINICA HAS HAD THREE PROTEST ACTIONS AND WHEN I HEAR THOSE MINISTERS OF GOVERNMENT BOORAGGING THOSE PROTESTERS, IT REMINDS ME OF THE BOORAG MY DAD USE TO GET AND NOT A WHISLE WOULD BE BLOWN BY THE REFREE AGAINST THOSE INFRINGEMENTS. TODAY, YOU CAN TALK OR PROTEST AS MUCH AS YOU WANT, THEM FELLARS COULDN’T CARE A DAMN THING.

  28. skerro everyone
    November 21, 2011

    tellu governm,ent to think before he leap

  29. Bull Crap
    November 21, 2011

    their are some thing that should be beyond politics. this is the the country Eco system we talking about here. lets put politics aside and thing about this for a moment.I don’t care if your red, blue , green or pokadots.

    have we not learn from he mistakes of other countries. when u try to control nature to you will always fail.

    • My2Sense
      November 21, 2011

      So you’re of the persuasion that we should not tamper with Mother Nature at all?

      Do the sea defense walls, highways, and dwelling homes bother you as well? I ask this because many of these structures alter the natural course of rivers, the reach of the sea, etc. While I take your point about respecting the eco-system, I think what’s more important is seeking the balance that is required to mitigate the risk associated with flooding and heavy rains. Also, I think it is only fair to consult the direct stakeholders (residents of the area) before erecting any significant structure in the area.

      • WIKILEAKS
        November 21, 2011

        You are right on point…don’t cut trees, don’t move the stones…Leave Dominca Clean and Green, underdeveloped

    • WIKILEAKS
      November 21, 2011

      Bull Crap never travelled man…and maybe all the people who are giving him rep points…lol

  30. Bull Crap
    November 21, 2011

    what the hell is going on In Dominica. who is the moron that decided to give permition to this.when will u people learn that u do not mess with mother nature. we do thing without thinking because money in involved. i remember growing up we ah had real river, strong flowing revers but we now have a bunch of streams all over the place because we int his country do not consider the action of nothing we do. This is the dumbest idea i have ever heard of and the a***le the approve that need to be locked up.

    This is ridiculous

    • WIKILEAKS
      November 21, 2011

      Bull Crap, have you ever heard of somethin called a Damn….somethng used to generate electricity???….there is one a Lauday (I think). That ivolved diverting and dredging and then returning the water to its natural flow.

      Bull Crap…have you heard of the Licoln and Holland Tunnel connecting New York and New Jersey?

      Oh lord where do we get this backward thinking on DNO…Bull Crap…think a little harder next time.

      • Just my 2 cents
        November 22, 2011

        Stop being an idiot yourself wikileaks. Diversion of our natural resource meaning the river; for the provision of electrcicity to the island cannot be compared to diversion of the river to satisfy one private company. Who is going to benefit from this but the Wacky Rollers Company only. Wacky Rollers in the past used the layou river to run their business, it is owned by a family who has a very large estate bbounding with the layou river. When the villagers of the layou area were demonstrating against all the quarrying activity and the building of the asphalt plant, where was the support of Wacky Rollers? Now the area where they did business is partially destroyed and they just want to up and move to another area and destroy the livelihoods of the people, hell no. This won’t fly unless they can come up with some sound EIA on how this river diversion effects on the community.

        The present government said that EIA studies were done in the layou area etc… so the quarrying and other activities would not have any significant impact on the neighboring environment. I guess the fear of flodding in the area was not considered in their EIAs right?

  31. dumb blonde
    November 21, 2011

    why does everything have to be political?

  32. wow
    November 21, 2011

    Does everything in Dca have to be politics?

  33. Anonymous
    November 21, 2011

    We know who is behind the protest. If it was a UWP creating the jobs there would be no protest!!!!

    • weh
      November 21, 2011

      sakway sot

    • investigation made
      November 21, 2011

      IDIOT

    • Farmer's son
      November 21, 2011

      This is not about Labor or UWP or Freedom.

      This is about a community coming together to show its concern about an issue about which they are concerned. The concerns are legitimate and they should be addressed.

      Some government agency has authorized this project without consulting the community. That is wrong. We simply cannot allow the authorities to continue disrespecting the people and communities in which these projects are developed. The people of Morne Rachette – Coulibistrie have a vested interest in the well-being of their community and they deserve to be heard.

      Of course there is the bigger issue of the impact of this type of development on the river. We should all be concerned.

    • the_1
      November 21, 2011

      FOOL!

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