Upgrade Portsmouth Port for Container Capability


Bulletin


Oct 29, 2017
The current challenges faced by the Woodbridge Bay Seaport in handling the increased traffic brought on in the wake of Hurricane Maria has focused the need for additional capacity in port services in Dominica. Woodbridge Bay Seaport was developed more than 40 years ago and, though increased capacity has been added over the years, expansion is limited and costly. 

In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Dominica's limited seaport capacity was confounded by the reality that many communities were cutoff from each other. Portsmouth has a functioning seaport that was not particularly impacted by the limited access to the main Seaport at Woodbrige Bay / Fond Cole. Other communities, notably Marigot and, to a lesser extent, some of villages on the west coast were able to receive supplies independent of Woodbridge Bay because of sea access. However, there are  other communities that could have benefited from functioning seaports / sea access units. In particular, Castle Bruce holds potential as Seaport that could serve a large area from mid-Kalinago Territory to La Plane and Delices. 

In short term, one to two years, consideration should be given by the Parliament to upgrade the Seaport in Portsmouth to accommodate container ships. The Seaport in Marigot currently serves primarily as a fishing hub and hurricane shelter for vessels from Kalinago Territory to Calibishe. However, given its 'sheltered' characteristics and existing facilities, it can be rapidly upgraded to facilitate ferry service. The idea of a seaport in Castle Bruce, Coulibistrie or St. Joseph / Layou should be considered as a longterm strategy once acceptable to a majority.

It is an established fact of nature that Dominica is the most mountainous, rugged country in the Caribbean region and, possible rates among a few nations worldwide at the mercy of its mountains, rivers and valleys. Accordingly. Dominica is prone to flooding and landslides. By developing seaports, the island will better able to manage during a severe hurricane like Maria. More seaports must definitely be included in any climate resiliency plan for Dominica.


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