Deputy Prime Minister of Dominica, Reginald Austrie has expressed his thanks on behalf of the Government and the citizens of Dominica to all foreign and local organizations who have assisted with the rehousing families after the passage of Hurricane Maria.
He made that statement while speaking at the handing over ceremony of eighty homes from the International Organization for Migration.
The houses were built under a housing project dubbed the ‘Early Recovery Shelter Support Project,’ which was implemented by the IOM with funding from the Government and people of Australia.
The Australian High Commissioner, John Pilbeam, symbolically handed over the 80 completed resilient core houses to a representative of the Government and people of the Commonwealth of Dominica, during the ceremony.
Mr. Austrie thanked the organizations who have helped with the country’s housing and reroofing program post Maria.
“To the number of humanitarian programs, like CARITAS, UNDP China, The Red Cross Digicel, IOM and all the other institutions who supported us in this venture, we want to say a big thank you,” Austrie stated.
He noted that along with the core houses, the IOM undertook the repair of six hundred roofs which they completed by June 2018.
He went on to say that the assistance of these organizations along with the Government’s own roof and repair program have assisted many citizens post Maria.
Mr. Austrie further stated the core houses have met the reviewed building codes and housing standards approved of following the passage of Hurricane Maria.
“Very early in the process of housing repair and recovery following Maria, the Government mandated a review of the building codes and the housing standards, to ensure that every roof repaired, and every house or building reconstructed was built to a climate resilient standard embedded in the Dominica’s building codes,” he noted.
He added that the IOM worked with the Ministry of Housing, The Ministry of Planning and the Physical Planning Division to observe these regulations, noting that “it is my hope that the Planning Division and the Ministry of Housing would have given the approval and or certification that the core houses have met these standards.”
“Anyone who experienced firsthand the turmoil and trauma we went through would endorse out rightly the need to enforce strict compliance to the building codes. The pain and loss suffered by Dominicans have warranted all of this,” Mr. Austrie added.