Relocation of vulnerable communities “not feasible” before next hurricane season- Gloria Joseph

Damaged caused by raging water in Coulibstrie during TS Erika. Photo: Hector John

With just two months to go to the next hurricane season, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Planning and Development, Gloria Joseph, is ruling out the possibility of relocating the residents of extremely vulnerable communities such as Coulibistrie and Colihaut before the season begins.

However, she said that the situation of those villagers is high on the government’s priority list and efforts are underway to ensure their safety in the event of another storm.

Joseph was speaking, along with representatives of other organizations involved in the rebuilding process, during a radio programme on Monday.

She said the government is still in the process of identifying sites for the relocation of the residents of those areas.

“The ministry of housing is working. The lands and survey, physical planning division, we have already identified some sites that we consider to be to be safe zones, to be able to relocate communities but anyone who is into urban design and urban planning will tell you that it is not the easiest of tasks to relocate an entire community,” Joseph stated.

She described as “not feasible” and “wishful thinking”, the notion that within two months, a community of hundreds of people can be relocated since, according to her, the social and cultural dynamics of the community as well as the livelihood of the people, among other factors, have to be considered.

Noting that the response from the authorities may not be as quick given the time constraint,  Joseph gave the assurance that structures will be put in place to facilitate the setting up of temporary shelters.

“For persons, for example, who may have a roof compromised, some of the organizations may want to put on on that building the roof but the structure is a little bit compromised. It will be a very transitional roofing earmarked to be revisited so that the person can have a shelter, a roof over their head but at the same time, we’ll be looking at disaster centres, mega disaster centres so that if evacuation is needed it can happen.”

The PS said it is hoped that two mega centres will be ready in time for the season as the work is ongoing and donor commitments have been secured in this regard.

” So there is effort, it’s not just talk. There is action,” Joseph declared.

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  1. Dowad
    March 14, 2018

    DIRTY Skerit and his bunch of greedy people just continue to drag Dominica into the …….. they have created.

  2. My name
    March 13, 2018

    Too much talk..Vote dem out!!!!!!!! Time for dem to go. They have failed the Country

  3. Eddie
    March 13, 2018

    The government is a joke don’t care about people they speak of resettlement but don’t hold talk with anyone about how life is going to be affected by resettlement and another note eg t savann they didn’t have to restle everyone campbell do have some areas which is safe just as coulisbistri and others but they fail to spend money on those villages to make people life more secure u think it is easy to leave ur village u know as home for many decades I believe those who are leaving in vulnerable ares first seek another location in the comunity and if u can find then u relocate

  4. Neverson St jean
    March 13, 2018

    disaster areas? This govt is just a comedy show like the honeymooners. Where in dominica do they have mega disaster areas

  5. Jean Coulibistrie
    March 13, 2018

    Madam PS, please allow me to dialogue with you about our Village Coulibistrie and your comments. In 2015, coulibistrie was among a few communities destroyed by TS Erica (3 yrs ago) and now Maria. Do you know that villagers suffered tremendously and were NEVER visited by any government official to comfort us during our times of grief far less to discuss plans of relocation? Govt had opportunities through the visits of high level leaders (UN, Prince and Presidents) to show some sympathy to the villagers since 2015 but nothing. That was a minus on govt. Today, we are hearing of relocation and although safety is our prime concern, please do not make your minus greater by just dumping relocation on us without the village input. We MUST have a say as to our future existence. Villagers are asking why can’t the authorities exercise the choice of rebuilding stronger river defense walls (which protected us for over 100 yrs) before the option of relocation is dumped on us forcefully? We the…

    • Jean Coulibistrie
      March 13, 2018

      We the villagers of Coulibistrie are citizens and voters alike and we demand that some respect be given to correct this wrong immediately. We will not accept relocation until proper consultation with us and all other feasible efforts are exhausted. Just imagine if this had happened to the people of Possie, Ville Case or the North, would it take over 3 yrs for officials to visit them or would you speak those senseless words? This is not a political statement because many laborites are suffering also.

      • March 13, 2018

        So you are not interested in the government plan for relocation, you just want more talk. Probably that’s what holding up progress, too much talk.

  6. marie-claire R Skerrit
    March 13, 2018

    This is so sad Dominica leaders are a mess

  7. Walkie Talkie
    March 13, 2018

    So Ms. Joseph you once again confirming that all the walkie Talkie pm doing is talk but no action to show for his much talking? Since October of 2017 the man talking relocation and he did nothing to protect the people? But anyways I am not surprised because after relocating the people of Petit Savanne in 2016 and less than a year later every house he built for them was wiped away by Maria, who else would want to be relocated by that same walkie talkie pm? Would you Gloria? The PM has a terrible judgement record and people would be scared to go where he moves them to

    • Neville
      March 13, 2018

      I’ve never seen anything as useless as this government. The next thing to go belly-up will be CREAD. You all my my works. The only thing they good at is skimming of money.

  8. Music Producer
    March 13, 2018

    8-O Papa mete, boy look joke-full leaders 8-O “However, she said that the situation of those villagers is high on the government’s priority list and efforts are underway to ensure their safety in the event of another storm.” We’re gonna hold you to your words, lady.

  9. Sams
    March 13, 2018

    Gloria I don’t think u no if u coming or going those kind of cricket all u put over station in grandbay that u want to go and put people in lady think of the long run and put walls long the river banks all u getting enough help stop the politics

  10. #One
    March 13, 2018

    It is madness to think of relocating communities close to rivers! That would mean all of Colihaut, Coulibistrie, half of Bath Estate and Emshall/Copthall, Cocoa Bottom Canefield, River Estate, River Street in Town and the list goes oooooon…. Totally absured!! to say the least.
    The authorities must now think of mitigating the effects of rivers by building river walls. Walls may not be able to go all along the rivers but in crucial areas such as bends; this would tame the flow and provide some level of mitigation to atleast curb on the impact. That shoud be # on the so called CREAD. Until then I will continue to believe in the APOSTLE’S CREED instead which is the only creed I’ve know from birth.
    Come on, that’s all we got in Dominica, Rivers, valleys hills and mountains. Government must also look into employing reliable persons to ensure that our rivers are protected and free from debris and other hazardous materials/pollutants. Occasional dredging included in package.

  11. Roger Burnett
    March 13, 2018

    “…anyone who is into urban design and urban planning will tell you that it is not the easiest of tasks to relocate an entire community.”

    Perhaps, at last, there is the realization that it is not just a matter of putting down so many prefabs or townhouses. In Dominica we are not dealing with urban communities but rural communities and makes it all the more difficult to achieve a successful outcome.

  12. We Not Real
    March 13, 2018

    Gloria Joseph has just confirmed to the world that PM Skerrit either does not understand priority, does not take safety of his people seriously, careless or flat out overstated the the vulnerability of the people and as such, should the 2018 hurricane season affects Dominica and anyone in the vulnerable areas gets washed or killed, the world should hold PM responsible because you just can’t talk to the world about potential danger and don’t do a thing to protect them. This to me is NEGLECT, Careless and true definition of incompetence.

  13. Truth Be Told
    March 13, 2018

    Sadly carnival had higher priority on the Prime Minister and his wife and supporters list! The Government of Dominica priorities are political party first and country second, and Labourites love it so!

    • RandyX
      March 14, 2018

      That about sums it up…

    • prophet for a profit
      March 14, 2018

      THANK YOU! All they wanted to do was jump up and play in the street. I not only blaming the government but Dominicans also. Too concerned about the loss of a good time, many of you still do not have a roof over your heads, but you wanted to be jumping up in rain for the sake of good time. The country still is a mess from Erica much less for after Maria.

  14. My bad
    March 13, 2018

    Gloria Joseph should know a lot about storm and relocation so I respect her. I remember when one of the storms hit the Portsmouth area and destroyed her church and some ladies had to take cover by her. I wonder if she relocated those sisters to a different location so she could repair her own house

  15. AA
    March 13, 2018

    SMH THIS GOVERNMENT IS A BIG JOKE, A colony of clowns parading as ministers and PS, Laughing stock of the caribbean

  16. They talking in tongues too
    March 13, 2018

    DNO we need to identify people so we could better digest or appreciate what they are saying you know. Gloria Joseph is the wife of Pastor Bernard Joseph, the former or secret spiritual advisor of the PM and the rest is a mystery.

    Gloria Joseph does not make any sense because Maria did not destroy Dominica in March of 2018, two months before the next hurricane season, as she would have us believe. Gloria you drive back and forth everyday on the Point Round bailey bridge, on the Batalie bailey bridge and the Marcousrie bailey bridge that were all destroyed in 2015 by Erika and now the Layou bridge that was destroyed by Maria. Is it also not feasible to get any one built before next hurricane season? Gloria Joseph needs to stop pretending, making excuses and covering her lazy and unfaithful superiors, even if she works for them. because that will cause her to walk with her head down in shame, if it hasn’t.

  17. Ibo France
    March 13, 2018

    There is too much talk and too little action. Too many people are still living in vulnerable situations because of procrastination and lack of strategic planning. It’s a herculean task to restore the country to perfect normalcy but much more should and could have been done. Bureaucratic bundling and ‘one man-ism’ has slowed restoration to a snail pace. In times like these, we need a leader who is charismatic and visionary, A leader who has integrity, strong communication skills, humility and courage. A leader who catalyzes cooperation and deals fairly with every citizen regardless of political affiliation. We need a leader who understands that no one individual has all the answers to the myriad of problems the country faces, and only with collective effort can the country overcome its gargantuan struggles.

  18. Shameless
    March 13, 2018

    :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: How long since Erika visited these communities :twisted: ? skirt and his goons must STOP playing politics with the people lives and treat everyone equally. :twisted: :twisted:

    Assertive like Ma Maria! :twisted:

  19. prophet for a profit
    March 13, 2018

    Duhhh! off course not. Hurricane season is in 3-4 months. We had no plan. we saw the dangers and ignored them after TS Erica. we still have no plan. all this talk of climate resilient is good for awareness but we have no clue about what we are doing here.

  20. My Opinion l, not urs
    March 13, 2018

    Relocate Colihaut? SMH
    Allu ppl mad or what
    So if one day God forbid Mahaut, St Joe get the same fury Colihaut got, allu will relocate them also.
    That allu calling Climate Resilience nah?

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