Dominica has received the assurance of the region’s leading financial institution that it will not to be left on its own to recover from the bitter ravages of Hurricane Maria.
President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Dr Warren Smith reaffirmed the institution’s support for the island after participating in a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) high-level mission to that country on Wednesday.
He was part of a delegation that met with Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit in Roseau to discuss the country’s rehabilitation and recovery efforts following the widespread devastation caused by the Category 5 storm.
“CDB stands in solidarity with the government and people of Dominica as the country seeks to rebuild and recover from this devastating disaster. We are acutely aware of the significant damage that Hurricane Maria has caused, and have mobilized resources for emergency relief and immediate response. CDB reaffirms our continued support for Dominica to help the country rebuild more resiliently in the months and years to come,” said Dr Smith on his return to CDB’s headquarters.
The Barbados-based bank has begun making preparations to assist with the restoration of essential services, including water and sanitation, and lend technical experts to support the recovery efforts.
The bank’s focus will include the restoration of the water supply in Roseau, where damage to the treatment plant at Antrim and associated pipelines has cut off water in the capital.
The CDB, which was in the process of upgrading the plant and equipment through its Third Water Project, is discussing with the Dominica Water and Sewerage Company Limited, ways to overcome the current logistical challenges to conduct the works, which will be critical in getting the water system running again in the capital.
The bank has also started discussions with private consultants and development partners to provide short and medium-term assistance, including engineers and other technical experts, to assist line ministries in Dominica in the recovery effort. In addition, the CDB is discussing with regional utility groups and engineering associations opportunities for providing financial support and human resources to assist with the rebuilding process.
The high-level delegation that visited Dominica included CARICOM Chairman and Grenadian Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell, Barbados’ Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite, CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, and Executive Director of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, Ronald Jackson.