Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, has announced that construction work on five (5) schools in Dominica is expected to begin in July 2019.
He made that announcement while addressing a press conference on Wednesday.
The funding for the construction work is being provided by the government of Canada.
The Grand Bay Primary School is one of the selected schools and is being given priority.
“Based on the schedule that the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has suggested, we are looking at a commencement date of July 2019,” Skerrit revealed. “With all things considered it’s a reasonable start-time.”
The prime minister continued, “We have had missions both from Canada and the CDB in Dominica to look at the feasibility studies of the schools. They have been to Grandbay and have given priority to Grandbay. We will begin first with Grandbay.”
He added, “One of the things I believe is we have known that there are procurement delays at the CDB level, and so on, but our partners have recognized the agency of some of those interventions and in their engagement with the CDB. We have been working together to see how quickly we can have those projects implemented, ensuring that all of the engineering and architectural designs take into consideration the resilience concept and the building back better concept, so that our schools are more resilient, they are more robust and that our students in terms of if we are faced with disaster, that we can have school recommence literally next day, because the facilities itself will be built to withstand the ravages of a storm.”
Skerrit indicated that the schools would be designed, taking the resilience concept into consideration and applying the technology to the architectural and engineering designs so that they can withstand disaster.
Meantime, he said Canada has always been a friend to Dominica and, “we have been able to rely on Canada being there for us and with us in difficult times.”
He said one of the first Heads of Government who telephoned him after Hurricane Maria was the Prime Minister of Canada to say to Dominica very clearly that, “Canada is with us and will continue to be with us in this very difficult journey.”
He said also that Canada has been very helpful in the drafting of the legislation for the creation of the CREED [ Climate Resilience Execution Agency of Dominica] and so they provided the technical assistance to draft this legislation which his government hopes to take to parliament very soon for its consideration.
“It’s not only the provision for technical assistance. They have been with us every step of the way in assisting us in putting this concept together, because it is something that is new to the world in large measure, new to the Caribbean in large measure, new to ourselves as Dominicans,” he explained.
Skerrit believes that Canada can play a very important role in leading the charge of matters relating to Climate Change globally especially for countries like Dominica.
“I believe that our country Dominica must stick to its desired vision and mission to create the world’s first Climate Resilient nation,” he noted. “Because for future generations this would be beneficial.”