Supply Manager of the Petite Savanne Resettlement Committee, Inspector of Police Antonia Moses has called on the people of that community to be patient and resilient as plans are being put in place to ensure that they are relocated to the best possible sites.
She made that statement during a recent interview with Dominica News Online in light of murmurs of frustration from displaced residents of the community on the speed of relocation.
The Petite Savanne was one of the hardest hit areas following the passage of Tropical Storm Erika which severely affected Dominica on August 27, claiming a number of lives in that community.
To date 823 residents were evacuated from Petite Savanne since the area was deemed unsafe and presently some are being housed at Guest Houses, the Roseau Youth Centre, while others reside with other family members.
Moses said there is no need to be angry or overly concerned at this time.
“We are asking them to be patient, we are asking them to remain resilient, we are asking them to have confidence in the Petite Savanne Resettlement Committee and in their Parliamentary Representative that he will do what is necessary to ensure that they are relocated to the best possible sites that Dominica has to offer,” she said.
She pointed out that many things have to be done as part of the relocation excercise.
“For example the necessary soil testing, vulnerability assessment has to be done…we are working closely with government to ensure that when they would have selected a location for our people that it would be the best location,” Moses pointed out.
She said that the moment the Committee isn’t concerned about government’s lack of involvement in the matter, “because government has been very involved and we are seeing progress.”
She noted that the committee was formed to advise the Parliamentary Representative, Dr. Kenneth Darroux, as well as to serve as a liaison between the Petite Savanne people and the government of Dominica on several matters.
Moses mentioned further that most of committee’s objectives have been met.
“Meaning that we had to make sure that our children return to school at a particular date and that has been done,” she explained. “We want to also ensure that the people who had to be relocated that they found shelters and accommodations and that has been working out well.”
She continued, “We also had to ensure that these people are receiving supplies on a regular basis because most of them have lost their income because they were mainly farmers, oil distillers as well as fishing…basically these people are receiving help from the government of Dominica and they (the government) have engaged us from day one,” Moses added.
Moses revealed that a survey had been conducted and the Petite Savanne residents have selected several sites.
“We have received the results, we analyze the data and we are working with government,” she remarked. “We had a technical committee and we have had one meeting with them so far, and we have been having regular meetings with our Parliamentary Representative as of Wednesday 11, we had one and he had advise us on the way forward, and basically what we are waiting for now before we meet the general committee….maybe need to sit and look at two or three locations.”
Moses indicated that the committee is expected to meet with the community of Petite Savanne soon to update them on what has taken place so far.
She encouraged Petite Savanne residents to continue being thankful to God, “for having saved us and keeping us thus far.”
Moses also thanked the many donors on island, in the region and the international community who are lending a hand in one way or the other in supporting Dominica.
The Petite Savanne Resettlement Committee comprises twenty-four members.
Some of the members include:
Chairman of the Petite Savanne Village Council- Edward Thomas
Chairperson- Morris Guiste
Public Relations Officer (PRO) – Roseanna Emmanuel
Treasurer- Daniel Laurent
Clerk- Joanna Hillaire
Member- Starette Titre
Vice President- Helen Francis
Member advising on reconstruction- Lawrence Moise
Acting Secretary- Kimania Joseph
Health Coordinator- Maria Moise