Homelessness in Dominica
The Commonwealth of Dominica is a small island country in the Eastern Caribbean. People know it for its beautiful mountainous landscape and jungles, which are home to several native species of plants and animals. Though Dominica has abundant natural beauty, its location in the Caribbean is along the path of annual storms, and these storms are a major cause of homelessness in Dominica. This homelessness has been hard to track as there have been no official reports or studies about homelessness in Dominica.

Poverty in Dominica

Dominica is a poor country in comparison to its neighbors in the East Caribbean. In fact, it had a poverty level of 39% of the population in 2004. Dominica’s two largest industries are the agricultural and tourism industries. Environmental challenges, such as the hurricanes and tropical storms that pass over the island frequently, have affected both of these critically. The storms have made the island less likely to attract tourists. Meanwhile, flooding and landslides have decimated crops and fields.

Homelessness and Tropical Storms

Because Dominica has a relatively poor population, homelessness often becomes a major issue after tropical storms. Many families cannot afford repairs for damaged or destroyed houses, thus leaving them in need of shelter. An example of this is the tropical storm, Erika, in August 2015. The storm caused massive flooding and landslides which devastated much of the land, small towns and villages on the island. Over 800 households became homeless in the wake of the storm. Further, over 1,400 homes either experienced destruction or became at-risk due to the storm. After Hurricane Maria in February 2017, hundreds of Dominicans became homeless including Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit himself. Estimates determined that the devastating category five hurricane damaged or destroyed around 90% of the houses on the island.

The Grotto Home for the Homeless

After storms in Dominica, shelters frequently undergo construction, but the majority are not permanent. A report also noted that the current status of NGOs in Dominica is not very robust and that the people mainly rely on the government to provide these necessary facilities. One of the largest permanent housing facilities is the Grotto Home for the Homeless. This organization is one of the few that focuses on providing shelter for homeless Dominicans, though it has faced issues with both its facility and funding. This organization helps to highlight some of the key issues surrounding homelessness in Dominica.

The home, which can accommodate 60 persons, needed remodeling which began in 2008. All of the residents moved to a temporary facility while they waited. Due to the constant storms and the lack of funds, the new home still did not reach completion by 2018. This helps to show how the services that others provide for the homeless are not always effective.

There is not much data on homelessness in Dominica, but it is clear that the severity of the weather exacerbates it. Dominica ranks 12th out of 111 countries in the Composite Vulnerability Index which analyzes a countries vulnerability based on a number of factors including population, weather, diversity of business and education. Dominica has a high risk of rapidly losing stability, which often results in spikes in the homeless population.

However, it is clear that after the devastation that Hurricane Maria caused, the Dominican government has been working to create more reliable and more permanent housing for those who lost their homes and for those who cannot afford to repair damages.

 – Jackson Bramhall
Photo: Flickr

Hunger in DominicaThe Commonwealth of Dominica, better known as simply Dominica, is an island nation located just north of Venezuela in the Caribbean sea. Dominica is known for its breathtaking views and tropical climate. Unfortunately, the country struggles with issues of malnutrition that have led to other pressing health problems. Hunger in Dominica has largely gone unreported due to the small size and population of the country. Understanding the issues of hunger in Dominica can help the United States and other supporting countries better understand how to assist the struggling country.

Hunger in Dominica: 5 Fast Facts

  1. Obesity: Hunger in Dominica has directly led to obesity in many people throughout the country. Studies show that 35.6% of women and 19.9% of men are considered obese in Dominica. The high rates of obesity are most likely due to a deficiency in the consumption of vegetables. Compared to the global and regional averages, people in Dominica are consuming significantly fewer vegetables and omega-3 fatty acids.
  2. Anemia and Diabetes: Anaemia is a condition in which people suffer from an iron deficiency in their blood. The rates of anemia are steadily growing in Dominica. Reports show that about a quarter of all women in Dominica suffer from anemia. Furthermore, diabetes is also a growing issue. This may be due to the consumption of high levels of some fats, such as polyunsaturated. It was reported that 13.6% of women and 8.6% of men in Dominica have been diagnosed with diabetes.
  3. Dependency: Much of Dominica’s access to food comes from outside countries, such as the United States. Because Dominica has a small population (about 71,000 as of 2019), it is difficult for people to produce their own food that is healthy enough to sustain life. The dependency on other countries started in 1986. At this time, the country’s population steadily decreased until it reached one of its lowest points at the end of the decade. Dominica people consume about 55% of imported food, leading to a mainly Western diet. As a result of this, Dominica is susceptible to similar health issues as their Western counterparts, such as diabetes.
  4. Effects of Climate Change: Because of its location in the Caribbean, Dominica is susceptible to various natural disasters, most notably hurricanes. Hurricanes damage the economy of Dominica, as the country is subsequently unable to export goods essential to its economy. CO2 emissions have also affected the area, as they have been increasing steadily. In 2014, Dominica produced 1,909 metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. These changes have affected the production of resources, which has also affected the citizens’ diets.
  5. Outside Assistance: The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is active in Dominica through various relief efforts. The FAO provided support for Dominica following the tropical storm in 2015 that cost the country millions of dollars in damages, and have been working to regulate the food imports to prevent hunger in Dominica. Their relief efforts have been working in Dominica from 2016 to 2019. They hope to develop long term strategies to teach citizens how to maintain a healthy diet. They also can assist the country’s financial stability in the event of another natural disaster that greatly affects the economy.

Dominica is a country in the Caribbean that has steadily been struggling with consuming more nutritious foods for sustainable health. Compared to the rest of the world, hunger in Dominica is not a pressing issue. However, because of the country’s dependence on imports, Dominica people see a high rate of obesity and related health issues. Coupled with the effects of climate change, Dominica can benefit from developing long term strategies to assist its citizens.

Alondra Belford
Photo: Flickr

10 Facts About Life Expectancy in Dominica 
Dominica, a 290-square-mile piece of paradise, is picturesque and surprisingly untouched. This small island has a population of 73,286 and has supported itself on its own agriculture rather than tourism. Its life expectancy is high and a record number of residents live well into their 100s. Here are 10 facts about life expectancy in Dominica.

1o Facts About Life Expectancy in Dominica

  1. Dominica boasts the sixth-highest life expectancy in the Americas, which stood at 77.4 years for the total population in 2018. The average male lives 74.4 years and the average female lives for 80.5 years.
  2. Historically, Dominica has had low mortality rates although those numbers have been fluctuating over the years. In 2000, mortality rates were 7.3 per 1,000 in the population. This number rose in 2007 to 8.44 and came back down to 7.9 in 2018.
  3. From 1990 to 2017, the mortality rate of children under age 5 has increased from 18.8 to 30.3. In addition, the mortality rate rose from 15.7 to 26.4 for children under age 1. These numbers seem high, but when one considers the island’s small population, the combined number of deaths is surprisingly low. For instance, the three leading causes of death for children and infants under 5-years-old from 2006 and 2010 were respiratory disorders specific to the perinatal period, congenital malformations and bacterial sepsis of the newborn. This resulted in only 99 deaths amongst this age group in those four years.
  4. Since 2000, trained health personnel has seen all pregnant women. No cases of vaccine-preventable diseases in children occurred between 2006 and 2010. Immunization coverage in 2009 remained at 100 percent for MMR, 99.4 percent for polio and 98.6 percent for BCG. In 2009, 96.8 percent of women visited public health facilities. In addition, around 3.4 percent visited private medical practitioners for prenatal care. Around 99 percent of births took place in a hospital. Moreover, mothers exclusively breastfed around 26 percent of babies for six months.
  5. From 2007 to 2009, there were 296 adult deaths between ages 20 and 59 and there were 40 deaths of young adults ages 15-24 from 2005 to 2009. Fifty percent of these deaths were from external causes like car accidents and homicides.
  6. Thirteen percent of Dominica’s total population was reportedly elderly in 2010 and the number is steadily increasing. The Yes We Care program launched in 2009. It provides relief to the members of the elderly population that need it the most. This program offers income-tax-free pensions, free hospitalization and a minimum pension for all non-pensionable persons retiring from the public service.
  7. People have cited Dominica’s pristine, unspoiled environment as the main reason for longevity on the island. Dominica’s waters are unpolluted and its vegetation is pesticide-free. A healthy diet also contributes to a high life expectancy. Traditionally, Dominicans’ diets include natural products from the forest, herbs and herbal medicines.
  8. Dominica holds the record for the highest number of centenarians in the world. Some call this island the home of the fountain of youth. At one point there were four centenarians on the same street. Surprisingly, there were 27 centenarians on the island. That is nearly four people per 10,000, 50 percent higher than Japan, and three times as many as in Britain. Moreover, the U.S. Dominica was the home of the oldest documented person, Ma Pampo who died in 2003 at age 128.
  9. Most of the physical fitness that some attribute to the people of Dominica is due to the mountainous nature of the island with its interior covered in thick rainforest. The islanders worked the land for years and today’s elderly had to walk long distances on rough terrain in their youth because there were few roads until well into the 1960s. Walking was a necessity of everyday life, along with hard physical work.
  10. Some fear that the story of Dominica’s remarkable centenarians will come to an end in another decade. This is because of the lifestyle changes of the island’s younger generation including American-style fast-food restaurants popping up and televisions in even the poorest households. One in four of the population owns a car and toiling on the land is a last choice job for the young. Benefiting from better medical care and improved public health, while living a pre-modern lifestyle is coming to an end. The new generation is becoming obese. In contrast, Dominica still has a large number of the older generation who have not known bad habits.

Dominica is the perfect example of how lifestyle affects longevity. The fact that Dominicans have found ways to sustain themselves without giving into large scale tourism has preserved their way of life and extended many of their lives. These 10 facts about life expectancy in Dominica highlight and support the importance of a healthy diet and proper exercise.

– Janice Athill
Photo: Flickr

Living Conditions in Dominica

Dominica is one of the islands in the Caribbean that suffered from two destructive hurricanes within the last four years. The hazardous climate in this region has been a catalyst for the building of resilient infrastructure. These top 10 facts about living conditions in Dominica highlight the benefit of disaster relief.

Top 10 Facts About Living Conditions in Dominica

  1. Dominica’s government is funded through the exchange of passports through the Citizenship by Investment Program. This program invites foreign residents to come and live on the island under certain agreements. One-third of the population of 74,027 lives on the coastline. The rest are scattered inland.
  2. Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, has expressed concern for the living situations caused by Hurricanes Erika and Maria. The Citizenship by Investment Program is funding projects for housing developments that brave Dominica’s natural hazards. The residential reconstructions include electrical, cable and telephone lines that run beneath the surface.
  3. The state has an international disagreement with Venezuela’s dominion over Aves Island. This calls into question whether the circumstances fall under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea. But instead of a military, the Commonwealth of Dominica has a police force that includes a coast guard.
  4. Dominica has subtropical valleys and cool coastlines. However, the mountainous parts of the island can experience flash floods. Between June and October, hurricanes pose a major threat. These natural hazards contribute to soil erosion.
  5. Dominica suffered disruption in more than 40 of its water systems as a result of Hurricane Maria’s destruction. The Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance has partnered with the U.S. Agency for International Development, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to provide support with water, sanitation and hygiene. Access to safe drinking water was an urgent need for hurricane survivors.
  6. The Japan Caribbean Climate Change Partnership donated wood chippers, tillers, brush cutters, seeds, water tanks, soil testing equipment, machine-powered mist blowers and laptops to 40 Roseau Valley Farmers. The total cost of the project to equip farmers affected by Hurricane Maria’s devastation of agriculture $390,000.
  7. In an effort to sustain school feeding programs and engender the value of farmers, the Ministry of Agriculture is working to form an agro-entrepreneurship program in schools nationwide. The ministry has invested $70,000, not including other resources. The Junior Achievement Agricultural Program will use this opportunity to give students the experience of fundraising to cultivate their own food.
  8. The World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme assisted the Dominican government in the maintenance of public services following Hurricane Maria. The restoration of four hospitals, five medical clinics, three schools and six structures at the Dominica State College took place in the summer of 2108. More than 400 contractors learned the methods of climate resilient reconstruction.
  9. Plastic pollution has affected the island’s coast. In an effort to heal Dominica’s ecosystem, the country will have to restrain from using plastic through a plastic ban that the Prime Minister has introduced. The U.K. government is also funding the Commonwealth Marine Economies Programme (CME), which will improve the economy’s tourism sector by developing navigation charts to reduce the damage to Dominica’s coral reefs.
  10. The U.K. government’s CME Programme will also restore a tide gauge at Roseau’s port to detect unsafe sea patterns. Instructions on the conservation of data equipment, like the Tidal Analysis Software Kit, and connections to the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, as well as to other experts, will contribute to the region’s tsunami warning system. These foundations and skills will bring stronger pre-disaster security.

Though strides are being made to establish Dominica as the first climate-resilient country, there is still danger in the unpredictability of these natural disasters. These top 10 facts about living conditions in Dominica show how proactive development of a stable infrastructure is the most effective way to respond to calamity. Systems must be put in place to overcome adversity before the blow.

Crystal Tabares
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Girls' Education In Dominica

In the Eastern Caribbean, the Commonwealth of Dominica is a small island country along the Lesser Antilles. Originally inhabited by the Kalinga, and then colonized by Europeans, the country of almost 70 thousand gained national independence in 1978. As a middle-income developing country, Dominica has taken great strides toward promoting girls’ education and the prosperity of all its citizens. Fundamental to the government’s stance that education is essential to securing political, social and economic prosperity, the conviction prevails that all citizens regardless of ethnicity, gender or class have a right to an education.

Investing in girls’ education in Dominica is one of the best investments the country can make. Educated girls are healthier, participate more in the formal labor market with higher wages, have fewer children and provide a better life for future generations of the community as a whole. Traditionally, girls faced multiple disadvantages including extreme poverty, underserved locality and belonging to a minority ethnic group, which made completing their education even more of a challenge. Since the opening of new roadways and full access to a free public education for all its citizens, replacing a historically exclusive religious system of education, girls’ education in Dominica has flourished.

Educational Opportunities

Girls’ education in Dominica is a success story among the broader educational initiatives enacted in the country. Girls face no barrier to educational opportunities in matters of gender discrimination. All children between the ages of five and sixteen are required to attend school according to The Education Act of 1997. The government provides both primary and secondary education in Dominica with minimal charges for students and their families. This includes free textbooks and special assistance for poor students as well as grant money available for those seeking tertiary programs.

As a result, net primary enrollment in 2011/20112 was at 100 percent of the youth population. In fact, inclusion efforts in schooling have been so successful, girls have often had higher enrollment rates than boys in the past. In primary school education, during the school years 2006/07–2008/09, statistics show approximately 52 percent of students enrolled in school were girls. Additionally, girls show they often do better in primary school, repeating levels half as frequently as boys, and are least likely to drop out of school. This trend continued in secondary school where, in 2007, there was a female-to-male ratio of 1.06:1 in attendance.

Gender Gap in Education

According to the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC), females outperform males in secondary schooling. They often outperform in English and Social Studies as well as traditionally male-dominated subjects like Mathematics and Science. While gender segregation as a result of cultural convictions still influences the educational path of females, girls today are more likely than ever to enter traditionally male-dominated fields like agriculture and technology in Dominica.

However, pregnancy remains a contentious issue. While dropouts in secondary school due to pregnancy have declined to the lowest rate in Dominica’s history, social stigma has historically strained the Education Act of 1997, which allows girls to return to school after pregnancies. The fate of girls returning from pregnancies often remains in the hands of the religious and personal beliefs of school administrations, sometimes encouraging unnecessary dropouts, while males involved in these pregnancies continue their education regardless. Although females continue to prevail in university settings, the higher they advance in their education, the smaller the ratio of female to male enrollment becomes. This is likely due to childbearing/family responsibilities and inadequate child care facilities to assist in their higher educational pursuits.

In the 1980’s, there were no laws in Dominica requiring children to attend school. Since taking initiatives like The Education Act, education has been a successful path for girls to advance themselves socially and economically. With an economy predominantly in agriculture and marked by men, by investing in girls’ education, Dominica not only combats social stigmas limiting their lifelong opportunities but also opens up new doors in the service sector for the country as a whole.

– Joseph Ventura
Photo: Flickr

How the U.S. Benefits From Foreign Aid to Dominica
Natural disasters occur globally, and many countries overcome these disasters with the help of foreign aid. Hurricane Maria, a Category 5 storm, hit Dominica on September 18, 2017. USAID has sent assistance to Dominica, which becomes beneficial to the U.S. by building good relations and maintaining a positive reputation by working with other countries in providing foreign assistance to Dominica.

The U.S. Benefits from Foreign Aid to Dominica by Fostering Good Relations

All countries, especially impoverished ones, need help to recover from a natural disaster of Hurricane Maria’s magnitude. The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Dominica by stepping in and using its power to help, which strengthens relations between the countries. After Hurricane Maria, Samaritan’s Purse, the Pan American Health Organization and the International Federation of the Red Cross, all under USAID, were able to contribute $3.25 million in foreign aid to Dominica.

The U.S. Department of Defense’s Southern Command worked with USAID’s Caribbean Hurricanes Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to help repair roofs in Dominica that were damaged by the hurricane. USAID provided plastic sheeting and DART taught a group of local builders how to use the tools provided to fix the damaged roofs properly. Through donations and direct assistance to individuals, the U.S. is building good relations with other countries.

International Collaborations Build a Positive Reputation

The U.S. has worked with other countries to provide water, food and tools to rebuild Dominica immediately after Hurricane Maria hit the island. The U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) contributed about 10 metric tons of food, which fed around 25,000 people in Dominica over three months. By assisting with the WFP’s food distribution, the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Dominica by using its resources to help impoverished countries, which grows a positive international reputation.

Collaborations with other countries to help provide foreign aid to developing countries do make a difference and help the U.S. maintain a positive reputation. According to Diálogo Digital Military Magazine, the prime minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, commented positively on the progress the U.S. and other countries have made. He stated, “We have many allies. Thanks for helping my people, without you, our partner nations, it would not have been possible to get past the first phase of this emergency.”

Countries dealing with poverty and disasters benefit from other countries stepping in to help via foreign aid, and that help allows the affected country to get back on its feet. The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Dominica through maintaining its positive reputation by doing good for poor countries.

While natural disasters can do great damage to countries dealing with poverty, those countries can also recover promptly with the foreign aid provided by other countries. The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Dominica by connecting with its people to encourage good relations, as well as ensuring a positive reputation by reaching out to less developed countries in times of need. The U.S. can retain in its positive relationship with the government of Dominica by continuing to support the country, especially when natural disasters hit.

– Kelly Kipfer
Photo: Flickr

How Credit Access in Dominica Ensures Growth

It is particularly important for people to have credit access in Dominica. Borrowed money is the main reason why Dominica has been able to rebound following Hurricane Maria individually and on a national level.

Two Category 5 hurricanes devastated Dominica in September and October of last year and caused heavy damage to the country’s infrastructure and the livelihoods of its citizens. Half a year later, the situation in Dominica has improved. A majority of water systems have been repaired, most schools have reopened and diverse foodstuffs have reappeared on market shelves.

There is still a need for reconstruction. Forty-four percent of the buildings on the island were destroyed, and another 55.5 percent had some degree of roof damage. As of early February, electricity was unavailable in 80 percent of Dominica. Credit access in Dominica functions as an important crutch to help people rebound during this time of reconstruction. A large portion of the population had their livelihoods threatened, especially those in agriculture and tourism.

Dominica’s national bank requires that individuals be employed for a continuous one-year period with their current employer in order to qualify for a personal loan. For people who depended on tourism and agriculture to survive, meeting this requirement is a high bar. The hurricane ripped plant life out of the ground, damaging crops. The tourism industry experienced hard times as well, with all tourism halted for months.

Corporations have recognized the high level of need for credit access in Dominica and have done their part to allow borrowed goods and services. Flow, a subsidiary of Cable & Wireless Communications, began operations to restore mobile services to Dominica in good faith, even extending free credit to help mobile customers communicate with friends and family.

Ensuring credit access in Dominica is beneficial to the companies that provide it. Dominica’s economy as a whole was on the rise in early 2017, with a decrease in government debt and an increase in tourism. Negative growth in Dominica was estimated at 6.4 percent due to Maria, but the island’s economy is expected to rebound, with an estimated 6.9 percent growth in 2018 as it rebuilds.

Credit access in Dominica comes in the form of both individual and national needs. Over 400 higher-ups from governments, civil society organizations and the private sector mobilized to support reconstruction efforts following Maria. Support for Dominica totaled over $1.3 billion in pledges and over $1 billion in loans and debt relief.

Despite the setback from the hurricanes, Dominica’s economy is still expected to trend upward, which bodes well for those supplying lines of credit. The Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) is one such company supplying financial aid to the people of Dominica.

The ECCU recorded slow growth in the country’s economy, and Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit noted that the potential capital of banks in the ECCU has improved since non-performing loans are trending upward as a consequence of recent hurricanes.

Dominica has a long history of bouncing back from natural disasters. Credit access in Dominica ensures that the nation becomes stronger and more resilient, as well as offering an immense opportunity for those providing capital.

– Sam Bramlett

Photo: Flickr

Five Development Projects in Dominica

The Commonwealth of Dominica, not to be confused with the Dominican Republic, is a beautiful country located in the Caribbean. While the nation is still developing, it is making a lot of progress in improving its economic state. These five development projects in Dominica are helping to reduce poverty in the country.

  1. River Defense Wall Project
    Like many Caribbean countries, Dominica is greatly affected by hurricanes. The country aims to lessen the effects of hurricanes with this project. In addition, the River Defense Wall Project has social and economic benefits. Local citizens were hired to help build the wall and it is critical in its ability to preserve human life.
  2. New Housing Project
    Investing in housing is important to developing an economy because it reduces homelessness, which could in turn reduce poverty. This project will create homes, retail outlets and jobs for people in one fell swoop. The homes will reduce homelessness and the outlets will increase foot traffic and spending in the area, which will boost the economy and reduce poverty. Of the current development projects in Dominica, this one could be the most far-reaching.
  3. Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project
    In the late summer of 2017, Dominica was struck by Hurricane Maria. The country needs to rebuild, and this project seeks to aid in that task. The Disaster Vulnerability Project will reduce vulnerability to natural hazards and climate change impacts in Dominica by investing in resilient infrastructure and improving hazard data collection and monitoring systems, according to the World Bank. This project has already helped the country rebuild roads that were damaged by the hurricane.
  4. Small Business Development Project
    It is well known that one way to reduce poverty in a country is to create jobs and develop entrepreneurial skills. This project aims to support small businesses in the country in order to accomplish that goal. The funding from this project goes toward staff training and obtaining equipment that the potential business will need.
  5. The Second Chance School Project
    Another important way to reduce poverty is to invest in education. A person can increase their earnings by 10 percent with every year they are in school. This project’s goal is to improve individuals’ skills in order to better prepare them for the future. It focuses on teaching basic skills, such as woodwork or hospitality, in addition to math and English. Sometimes a trade skill is involved. Because of its collaboration with the From Offending to Achieving program, this project is also being used to educate individuals rather than incarcerate them.

Tourism is a major source of income in Dominica, but that is not necessarily the best way to sustain an economy. With these development projects, Dominica can grow its economy and reduce poverty in many different ways.

– Dezanii Lewis

Photo: Flickr

humanitarian aid to dominica

On September 18, Hurricane Maria devastated the Caribbean Island of Dominica, inflicting what the country’s Prime Minister called “mind-boggling damage”. Homes were destroyed, entire industries were brought to their knees and 27 lives were lost.

Months later, it is clear that the recovery will be a long and expensive process. Many governments and organizations are chipping in to help the beautiful island of Dominica reclaim its natural beauty and rebuild the infrastructure that its citizens need.

In order to aid in recovery and relief efforts, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has contributed an additional $3.25 million in humanitarian aid to Dominica. These resources will go toward providing shelter, water, hygiene items, and livelihoods to those effected by the hurricane.

The European Union pledged €750,000 to provide survival kits, food, water, and immediate shelter and household materials to those affected by Hurricane Maria. The funds will also go toward providing training and technical support to those who need to rebuild their homes.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has been working on the ground in Dominica to help reopen schools. As of November 9, 48 primary and secondary schools had been reopened. UNICEF is also working with other organizations to provide water and sanitation services to some of these schools.

Another organization providing humanitarian aid to Dominica is the United Nations World Food Program (WFP). The WFP made a commitment to provide food assistance to 25,000 citizens of Dominica for three months following Hurricane Maria. They have also been providing critical telecommunications services to those involved in the relief response.

There are many groups that are contributing humanitarian aid to Dominica in the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria. Progress is being made: schools are reopening, shelters are being built or rebuilt and food and water is being delivered to those who need it most. With sustained investment in the relief effort, Dominica will continue its recovery and become a growing economy and booming tourist destination once again.

– Aaron Childree

Photo: Flickr

In August 2015 Tropical Storm Erika left landslides, mudslides and flash flooding throughout most parts of Dominica. A grant of $150,000 was approved for infrastructure in Dominica, with focus on roads, bridges and future landslide prevention.

Sincere efforts for rebuilding Dominica came in February 2016. Using one of the two airports on the island the Adventist Development Relief Agency (ADRA) stepped in to help, doing week-long assignments, assisting in placement for homeless victims and building homes. “The government is providing the land and infrastructure and ADRA is providing labor and funds,” said local ADRA Project Coordinator Priscilla Prevost. The agency had a goal of completing 25 homes by the end of the project, but September 2017 put a pause to that attempt.

Right after a hit from Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Maria hit the island of Dominica leaving more devastation than any other storm in its history. Sources claim it will take billions of dollars and several years to restore infrastructure in Dominica.

With telecommunication hindered by damaged cell phone towers, Digicel CEO and chairman Denis O’Brien felt it was right to step in. From restoring cell phone towers to humanitarian relief, Digicel has assisted with getting Dominica reconnected to the world. Hoping to build seven schools on the island, each with a hurricane shelter and 360 homes in one of the worst affected territories, Kalinago, O’Brien has met with Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit to seal these intentions. Dominica’s Digicel Team have restored 37 out of 55 cell services and aimed to have 85 percent coverage by the end of November.

Digicel will give an estimated two million dollars to repair infrastructure in Dominica. UKaid donated £12-million in November after Hurricane Maria, “In Dominica, 97 percent of the water system was destroyed. This is one example of where U.K. funding could help rebuild so Dominica is better able to withstand future natural disasters.” With the help of supporting nations, infrastructure in Dominica is not only underway but making progress at a steady rate.

– Tara Jackson

Photo: Flickr