One year after Maria: Progress very slow in Dominica


One year after Hurricane Maria devastated Dominica the pain of that eventful day is still fresh. Many of those who have lost love ones are still grappling with their loss.  Some are trying to restore some sort of normalcy to theirs.  Others are still homeless while many are waiting for promised aid from the governing Administration which has been entrusted with the management of material and funds generously provided to the Dominican People.   

Home Restoration
How is it that one year after Maria, some people have no idea whether they will receive any assistance to help restore their homes.  After Maria, the UN undertook a Comprehensive Building Damage Assessment. For example 50 UNDP teams using special technologies inspected 30,000 homes. So, the current Administration had roadmap for restoration of homes and livelihoods on the island. Subsequently, the Administration received funding of  US$40 Million for housing (aprox 108 million EC Dollars). Why is rebuilding still so slow?
It is unconscionable that in the face of such assistance by  the United Nations in providing such a detailed  assessments of all those who needed help and available Funds,  the Administration has been so slow to put systems in place that would ensure equitable distributions of materials for home repair and restoration. They have chosen to go the political route and pick and choose who they are willing to help ,thus leaving many who need help in Limbo. They are so mired in their political mud that building materials have been seen at a Minister's home. How Pathetic?

Agriculture
While the local supplies of food have been more or less restored, the economic aspect of Agriculture is still struggling. It appears that, even though the World Bank made US$25 million ($65Million EC) available to support restore the Agricultural Sector, lack of planning and political gamesmanship has stifled progress. Due to lack of transparency, many in the agricultural businesses have no idea what is planned for restoring this sector commercially. In addition, farm road access has been crippled through loss of many bridges damaged by Hurricane Maria.  Dominica is in sore need of a Bridge restoration Department.


Disaster Preparedness

It's quite sad to believe that one year after the storm, not a single  Climate Resilience Shelter has been built. That is, even after monies were received from the European Union and earmarked as such. Why can't the current Dominica Administration utilize the services of United Nations Office for Project Services UNOPS which has experience in resilient infrastructure, project management and human resources to undertake this project. Why the reluctance?
It seems that on the one year Anniversary of  Hurricane Maria, the Administration shows no signs of having learnt any lessons.  They are still focused on Party Politics without appropriate engagement of  Civil Society and other Stakeholders in Dominica. This continued behavior does not bode well for the Future of Dominica in the age of Climate change. 


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