Twenty fishermen from across Dominica are now certified in the design and construction of fiber reinforced boats.
The three-day training was organised by the Project Implementation Unit as a climate resilience project in collaboration with the Ministry Agriculture, Food and Fisheries.
Manager of the Project Implementation Unit, Kervin Stephenson, says the training was not to teach boat construction but to improve the skills of existing boat builders.
He said, “The whole objective is to improve your skills in building resilient boats. The training is good based on the reflection of the quality of boats which result. We have a checklist to ensure that the boats are properly done.”
Stephenson says these certified builders will be given contracts and frequent checks will be done to ensure that the boats are being built. The workplace will also be monitored for keeping up to standard and the products must qualify as being safe for use.
The participants will receive equipment to do the job more effectively without compromising their health.
Training consultant out of India, Derrick Menezes, who is also an architect and professional boat builder, says he is pleased with the outcome of the program.
“The one thing that strikes me which I have not seen in other places is that usually I work with fewer boat builders and they never understand the end use of the boat and the fisherman’s point of view, the user.
“The nice thing about Dominica is that all of you are users of those boats so you understand the complexities, strengths and weaknesses. In the long run, this is going to make a big difference in the quality of boats in Dominica,” Menezes believes.