The government of Dominica has signed contract in excess of 6.1 million Euro or 22 million Eastern Caribbean dollars to repair areas affected by disasters.
The contract was signed at the conference room of the Ministry of Finance between Jacques Gaddarkhan and the government on Friday 30 January 2015.
The contract, signed under the 10th EDF Natural Disasters Remedial and Mitigation Measures Infrastructure Project, is expected to be executed over an 18 month period and will commence in March or April 2015.
Public Works Minister Ian Pinard says the money, which was granted by the European Union, is expected to go towards rehabilitation of the Bois Diables and Point Mulatre, areas severely affected during the passage of Tropical Storm Ophelia in 2011.
The project will include the construction of retaining walls, slope stabilization, construction of culvert crossing, realignment of short road sections, repair to mid-culvert road crossing at Boetica to include the construction of new inlet and outlet structures, construction of road crossing at Baron among others.
Mr Pinard said the main aim of the project is to build resilience and to rehabilitate infrastructure.
The benefits of the project will include the safeguard of the investment and lessons of risk to avoid loss of life.
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said government has kept its promise to assist residents in the east affected by disasters.
“This contract dates back to 2011 when the government initiated discussions with the European Union on efforts to minimize the anxiety and the exposure of residents in the aftermath of tropical storm Ophelia but also in a period of heightened interest by developing states in complexities associated with global warming,” he said.
He said Friday’s signing of the contract will not address every intended project for the East however; funds are being sought to ensure the completion of the project.
“The contract signed today will not address all of the areas of concern on the East Coast road but it’s a solid and meaningful start. We have indicated already that other sections of these roads will be rehabilitated with financing from the World Bank under disaster vulnerability reduction project,” Mr. Skerrit said.
He said the project will improve delivery of transport between Bois Diables and White River and also bring some economic benefits to the communities as both men and women will be gainfully employed.
Prime Minister Skerrit also warned the contractor that government will strictly monitor the progress of the project and that it should be completed at its stipulated deadline.