Dominica walking on path to become world's 1st climate resilient nation
Dominica walking on path to become world's 1st climate resilient nation

Roseau, Dominica: The world has been dealing with multiple devastating issues, major them all is “climate change.”

The issue has left immeasurable impacts on the people, across the globe, including disturbance of lives, livelihoods and lifestyle, as well as, disruption of services.

The experts has conducted various studies and one such survey was conducted by the media agency – Reuters in 2017 which informed that more than 14 million people faced the dire consequences of the natural calamities, such as floods and storms. The report further claimed that the most prone regions to the displacement and housing loss are countries in South and Southeast Asia.

Beside the region, the disasters have multiple times knocked the doors of the Latin America and Caribbean Region, which resulted in destroying the homes of several families.

The consequences of the floods, storms etc. have even been witnessed by the small island-country of Dominica. Recently, country faced massive damages because of Tropical Storm Erika, which hit the country in 2015 and Hurricane Maria, which hit the country in 2017.

As per the reports by the OCHA Services and UNDP, Tropical Storm Erika damaged about 90 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Dominica. While informing about the Hurricane Maria, the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment concluded that the natural calamity caused the damage of around EC$ 2.51 billion, which is equivalent to US$ 931 million and losses of EC$ 1.03 billion (US$382 million). The value estimated of around 226 percent of 2016’s GDP.

After facing such damage, Dominica was hopeless and unable to find a route to rebuild and rehabilitate the country. During that crucial hour, the government of Dominica took initiatives and pledged to develop world’s first climate resilient country.

The government of Dominica formulated various new policies to turn the dreams into reality. The policies implemented by government focused on urban planning and development of integrated housing communities across the nation; and following this, the Housing Revolution Programme (Integrated Housing Development) was born.

The Programme has been developed with the assistance of the Citizenship by Investment Programme of Dominica. The government-led initiative has been providing homes to multiple new, modern, integrated housing (for the low as well as middle income families).

The Government of Dominica commenced the work of resettlement and rehabilitation in the year 2018 at the Bellevue Chopin Housing Development. Around 350 residential units were built, which included 28-unit commercial complex, a community centre, a health centre, and a recreational field.

The government of Dominica has been also constructed twelve other housing developments across the East Coast, West Coast as well as the capital city – Roseau. As per the official data, around 2,000 housing units have been completed.

The authority of Dominica has assured that it will provide more housing developments in Scotts Head, Eggleston, Canefield, Vieille Case, Penville, Point Michel, Woodford Hill, Paix Bouche, and Roseau Valley.

Beside this, Grand Bay constituency will witness a master-planned community development, which would be constructed till 2023. The unit would be beautifully crafted and would offer multiple services as well as amenities. The facilities would include: shops, basketball court, community centre, pocket parks, recreational spaces, and gas station; safely secured 24×7, with the police station and fire station within the area.

According to the information shared, the unit would feature standard design for the developments. It will have a mixture of two- and three-bedroom houses and apartments with a toilet and bath, a living room, a dining area, and a kitchen. Additionally, it would ensure resilience and to do so it would be built with reinforced concrete with stormproof windowpanes.

These units will be granted, neither sold nor rented. These will provide particular consideration for single mothers and will provide beneficiaries through a selection system.

For Dominica, the rapidly changing environment as well as rehabilitation from disaster has been now linked with the concepts of community renewal and resilience. To this, the Integrated Housing Development Programme (IHDP) has working as a catalyst by providing housing units and proving that there is significant potential to improve the quality of life and the socio-economic status of even the most vulnerable.