IOM partners with government to repair emergency shelters


Repair of Emergency Shelter Bioche. Photo: Vynliz Dailey

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has launched a project funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID), to support the Government of Dominica with increasing the emergency preparedness of communities.

Under this project, IOM will undertake several activities, including the repair and rehabilitation 12 emergency shelters recommended by the Department of Local Government, and in close collaboration with the Office of Disaster Management (ODM).

At the end of September 2017, two weeks after the massive destruction caused by Hurricane Maria in Dominica, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) conducted Displacement Tracking surveys for the Government of Dominica and found that a total of 78 emergency shelters were being used, housing 3,044 internally displaced persons (IDPs). While most of these people have moved out of the emergency shelters, many found it necessary to return to seek safety at emergency shelters across the island during the hurricane season of 2018.  It is therefore necessary to ensure that the shelters are in good repair and properly equipped to provide an essential service.

“Clearly, emergency shelters are not something that we want. They are just necessary.  IOM and USAID as the donor are joining efforts with the ministries, local government and the ODM; with civil society to improve preparedness in communities,” Dimitris Champesis, Project Manager, noted.

He continued, “We are preparing 12 emergency shelters to support the resilience mechanisms of these communities while also working on awareness and advocacy. At the end, being prepared is key to improving resilience, which is essentially the ability to weather and recover from whatever life might bring.”

Rehabilitation work has already commenced in Mahaut, Marigot, Bioche, Glanvillia and Tarish Pit.  Work will begin this week at the Sineku Pre-School, Atkinson Resource Center, Calibishie Resource Center and the Wesley Resource Center.  Other shelters to be repaired and rehabilitated are the Boetica Sewing Group Building, the Canefield Community Center and the Scotts Head Government School. Scope of work ranges from repair of doors and windows, plumbing and electricals, renovation of kitchen facilities to installation of solar power systems.

Emergency shelters are classified as a type of collective center, falling under the Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) humanitarian Cluster, where IOM is a global leader.  Based on international standards for CCCM, safety equipment such as fire extinguishers, generators, ropes, axes, hammers will be provided where needs have been assessed.  For personal safety: cots, basic first aid kits, kitchen sets, stoves as well as non-food items (mattresses, sheets, torches, hygiene kits) will be pre-positioned in case of emergencies.

“With this USAID funded project, we are repairing these 12 officially recognized emergency shelters, to make them safer and more functional.  They will receive basic tools such as fire extinguishers and other safety equipment, hammers, ropes, first aid kits and personal safety items. (IOM will also advocate for and support coordination of relevant actors to find durable solutions for people still living in emergency shelters, so that the shelters can be available again when and if the need arises” Community Engagement Officer, Maxine Alleyne- Esprit stated.

Ultimately, through this project, IOM hopes to support the government and people of Dominica, through the ODM, local government, community disaster committees and emergency shelters, to be better prepared to face recurrent hurricanes and other disasters.

The USAID project runs until the end of June 2019.

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  1. Badbaje
    February 12, 2019

    Good morning all.
    “Under this project, IOM will undertake several activities, including the repair and rehabilitation 12 emergency shelters recommended by the Department of Local Government, and in close collaboration with the Office of Disaster Management (ODM).”
    Please do not tell me they have waited this long to repair and rehabilitate 12 “EMERGENCY SHELTERS” Do they understand the meaning of the word emergency?
    This cool aid is far more effective than that of Guyana years ago.

    • Karl Orndem
      February 13, 2019

      Luckily we didnt have any hurricanes last year. IF we did, hmm. Only now! the ODM itself is a big waste. Pascal just eating all the money and nothing is being done to ensure our safety. Our roads are disastrous, why doesnt ODM say anything about the looming dangers associated with them? Overhanging cliffs? Ongoing land reclamation on the coasts which can affect aquatic life. All these agencies are cash cows which produce not enough milk. The Environmental Health Unit is another one which doesnt do enough. Now back to the topic. Almost a year and a half after Maria, only now you people see it fit to “repair” the shelters, half of which are not even suitable to be shelters in the real world. Why dont we take all that money being wasted and build real actual resilient shelters which can actually cater for the numbers we expect. Do they have disabled access and toilets? do they have sufficient bathroom facilities? sufficient storage areas? electrical wired adequately? Or will it be…

  2. Just thinking
    February 11, 2019

    A well organised. Work force.How many workers to fix a board to the wall.Four and one chair?

  3. DEE
    February 11, 2019

    Tell me something
    are these 4 men hanging up a small sign ? is that what they are doing or are the working on an emergency shelter?
    as if i can only see one workman ein ,only one wearing a hard hat.
    it takes one big …. man to stand holding a spirit level to tell the three others , dat straight now man .
    When i say Dominica is now a joke , laborites get offended .
    78 shelters ? where dey at ?
    Now dow say Scott’s Head school again ein , because dow have school dere again .
    that was closed just after i left teaching . Back then it was a school , now i dunno what it is , but is definitely not a school .
    Schools have pupils or students , we all know that.

  4. February 11, 2019

    With ALBA in trouble it’s good to see USAID back doing what they have always done in Dominica; thanks and bravo! will someone tell the double (Dr) and his “mouton batallie” crew that the world is always ready to help those who cannot help themselves; just stop begging.

    • Karl Orndem
      February 13, 2019

      USAID is just a ways and means of the US trying to have influence on us natives. We can help ourselves. We are just not yet ready to get off our behinds and get serious. this country of ours is being run like a joke. A good time party that is getting out of hand.

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