Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has made it clear that there is no need to shutdown the country and business will continue as usual despite the issuance of a Tropical Storm Watch for Dominica.
“There will be no shutting of the country, we will continue our daily duties…,” he said while addressing a press briefing on Monday. “There is no need for anyone of us to be in any panic mode; there is no need for anyone of us to be over anxious…and there is no need for us to shut down the country.”
According to Skerrit, presently, there is a greater awareness on the part of the general public, and from a number of vantage points, he believes that Dominica is in a better place now than it was after Hurricane Maria.
He urged all citizens and residents to take heed of all of the advisories and guidance provided by the Office of the Disaster Management (ODM), the National Emergency Planning Organization (NEPO) and the Meteorologist Office.
“With heavy rain, we will certainly anticipate or expect landslides, mudslides and flooding in some parts of the country,” he stated.
Skerrit went on to say that his government has mandated the Ministry of Health to do an inventory and an audit of every health centre in Dominica to ensure that they have adequate, basic pharmaceutical supplies at hand especially in highly vulnerable communities which are usually cut off from the rest of the country as a result of landslides.
“I speak for example of communities like Campbell; I speak of communities like Belles, Petite Soufriere, San Sauveur, Delices, Bagatelle, Fond St Jean…,” he explained. “These communities in particular, among others, we need to pay particular attention to where landslides and mudslides are concerned.”
Skerrit continued, “Also those of us who reside along river banks need to take precaution.”
He said the Ministry of Public Works has also been mandated, as is customary, to ensure that heavy equipment is placed and located in strategic points, “so again, for any eventualities like landslides, our roads need to be cleared; fallen trees need to be cleared.”
He said this would facilitate quicker access to those communities that may be cut off.
He mentioned also that police have been placed on alert to ensure that they are able to respond to any request for rescuing people or getting people out of harm’s way.
He further advised the public to fill all utensils and empty containers at home with water.
Skerrit added, “Look around your surroundings and make sure that potential hazards are eliminated or eradicated.”
The prime minister encouraged the public to continue to pray for the country and for our brothers and sisters in the southern part of the Caribbean.
The prime minister reiterated at another press briefing held at 5:30PM on Monday that Tuesday August 27, 2019 would be a regular working day.