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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Dominica aims to become world’s first climate-resilient country

Roseau, Dominica: With the aim of becoming the world's first climate-resilient nation, Dominica's government is tremendously investing in the climate-resilient housing sector to upgrade its infrastructure. 

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Roseau, Dominica: With the aim of becoming the world’s first climate-resilient nation, Dominica’s government is tremendously investing in the climate-resilient housing sector to upgrade its infrastructure. 

The small island nation, which has been hit by many natural catastrophes in the past, is now working on developing a robust infrastructure that can resist natural disasters such as category five hurricanes.

The Commonwealth of Dominica, popularly known as the Nature Isle of the Caribbean, is a small island with natural hot springs and tropical rainforests. The Caribbean island has witnessed many startling natural disasters, such as Hurricanes and Tropical Storms.

Dominica, despite its small size and population of approximately 70,000 people, is at the forefront of the fight against climate change. Dominica’s Prime Minister, Dr Roosevelt Skerrit, promised to rebuild the country as the “world’s first climate-resilient nation” after Hurricane Maria hit the island in 2017, destroying around 90 percent of the infrastructure.

Since then, the Dominican government has worked relentlessly to construct climate-resilient infrastructures, such as schools, housing, hospitals, health care centres, and shelters. The revolutionary”Housing Initiative” has been delivering climate-resilient homes to those affected by Tropical Storm Erika in 2015 and Hurricane Maria in 2017.

The housing units have been developed in the various regions of the Caribbean country, including Cotton Hill, Georgetown, Jimmit, Roseau City Square, Bellevue Chopin, Castle Bruce, San Sauveur, Grand Fond, La Plaine, and Delices. At the same time, several housing units are still under construction in some areas such as Scotts Head, Eggleston, Canefield, Marigot, as well as Plat Ma Pierre. 

Reportedly, the government has handed over the keys to about 1,500 families over the period of four (4) years, to the families who were displaced because of Hurricane Maria. 

Prime Minister of Dominica, Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit, during an event in 2019 stated that “the government of Dominica will not rest until every Dominican has a resilient roof over their heads,”.

The Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Reginald Austrie, congratulated and praised the efforts of the government for such development initiatives and massive investment into the housing sector. 

Recently, the government of Dominica announced that an integrated community will be constructed in the Grand Bay constituency. The newly announced Grand Bay Ville Housing Development will be a master-planned concept. The housing unit will witness more than 100 standalone houses and 29 empty plots. The majority of the housing units will have three bedrooms, two toilets, and bathrooms, a kitchen with a dining room, a living room, a laundry area, as well as a porch. 

The project has been undertaken by MMCE Development Ltd. Besides this, sixteen more homes are planned for Eggleston.

Earlier, in February 2022, the Salybia constituency saw the beginning of the construction of around 40 houses. The government has announced that these 40 houses will have the capacity to bear the devastating impacts caused by hurricane-force winds and seismic activities. 

Meanwhile, in mid-2021, the residents of Dominica were informed about the building of around seven housing units in Marigot. The units are under-construction and soon will be handed over to the families.

While announcing the project, Gregory Riviere -Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Economic Affairs and Planning, stated that more than thirty residents of Marigot would benefit from the new homes upon completion of these housing units.

The housing units will feature three bedrooms, one living room, a kitchen, a bathroom, and toilet facilities.

“It is the first time the government of Dominica has started, and of course will complete, the construction of homes for the people of Marigot. These homes will be climate-resilient and are part of the government’s housing revolution project. I am glad that the Marigot people are very very happy to be part of the process,” Riviere underlined. 

The government of Dominica has been following the newly adopted “Disaster Resilience Strategy”, which promises to provide a comprehensive plan. As per the government, the cost of funding the interventions outlined in the Disaster Resilience Strategy (DRS) is approximately US$2.8 billion.

The construction of the climate-resilient housing units has been partly or completely funded by the Citizenship by Investment Programme of Dominica. 

The CBI Programme of Dominica is one of the longest-running, fastest, and most secure in the world. The programme has been top-ranked for five consecutive years by the CBI Index, published by the Financial Times’ Professional Wealth Management (PWM) magazine.

Launched in 1993, the programme is renowned for its strict and robust due-diligence procedure. The government of Dominica emphasizes the overall integrity of its applicants and ensures the credibility of the applicants by hiring renowned independent third-party agencies to perform due diligence checks. 

To get alternative citizenship from Dominica, the applicant can invest via two investment options: Economic Diversification Fund (EDF) and Real Estate. 

  • Economic Diversification Fund (EDF): To apply for the alternative citizenship of Dominica, the applicant may invest in the EDF. This government fund option assists the socio-economic initiatives in the country, including the construction of climate-resilient homes, health centres, schools, playgrounds, and more.

     Minimum Investment: USD 100,000

  • Real Estate: The applicant has to purchase a Government-approved property to invest under the real-estate option. 

     Minimum investment: USD 200,000

 

Dominica boasts its nature with 365 rivers, innumerable waterfalls, and the world’s second-largest hot spring – the boiling lake. The Nature Isle of the Caribbean is undoubtedly one of the best travel destinations, which offers facilities like – hiking, bird-watching, canyoning, trekking, whale-watching, and relaxation in natural hot springs.

The beautiful nation of the Caribbean was completely devastated after the category five hurricane, Hurricane Maria. The natural disaster disturbed the livelihoods of around 90 percent of the population. After Hurricane Maria, Dominica was torn apart in the span of a single night. 

Following the catastrophe caused by the hurricane, PM Skerrit pledged to build the climate-resilient nation, and soon after, the Climate Execution Agency for Dominica (CREAD) was created. In May 2020, the Cabinet of Dominica approved the Disaster Resilience Strategy as an Annex to the Climate Resilience and Recovery Plan (CRRP).

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