The United Kingdom Government, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), and the Government of Dominica will fund two infrastructural projects in Dominica at a cost of EC$239 million to increase climate resilience in Dominica. That disclosure was made by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Roosevelt Skerrit at a press conference held on April 12, 2022.
That also marked the first visit to Dominica by the President of the CDB Dr. Hyginus „Gene‟ Leon as he paid an official visit to Dominica and met with Prime Minister Skerrit.
According to Prime Minister Skerrit, the rehabilitation of the 11km of roadway between the Loubiere Bridge and Grand Bay will be financed with “grant funding of US$32.9 million (EC$88. 8 million) from the Government
of the United Kingdom; a Government of Dominica contribution of US$10.7 million (EC$28.8 million); and a CDB loan of US$5.5 million (EC$14.8) million to cover the construction of the Mitchum Bridge. The total cost of the project is EC$132.4 million.”
“A UK Government grant of US$30.3 (EC$81.8 million) and Government of Dominica and the Dominica Water & Sewage Company (DOWASCO’s) contribution of US$9.2 million (EC$24.8 million) will finance the Water Sector Strategic Development Project to improve water supply and distribution infrastructure and upgrade the Jimmit wastewater system, at a total cost of EC$106.7 million,” PM Skerrit said.
The UK grant funding for both projects is being channeled through the UK Caribbean Infrastructure Fund (UKCIF), administered by the CDB.
“One can certainly appreciate the impact on employment in Dominica and on the contracting of goods and services. As a government, we are extremely happy that over the next two years, a total of $239.3 million will be spent in the local economy,” Prime Minister Skerrit said.
Prime Minister, also Skerrit thanked the UK Government for the generous contribution to Dominica’s development, which he said would help create employment opportunities and bring long-term socio economic benefits to citizens.
CDB President Dr. Hyginus “Gene” Leon remarked that the Caribbean is one of the most vulnerable regions in the world to climate change with a high susceptibility to natural hazards and aging economic infrastructure.
“The CDB is aware that enhancing the road and water infrastructure in Dominica is critical for the country‟s endeavour to become climate resilient by 2030 and the interventions that we are financing in partnership with the UK Government will support the country’s efforts to achieve that goal,” the CDB President remarked.
“The United Kingdom remains committed to supporting a more resilient, prosperous, inclusive, and the safe Caribbean and so we are proud to support these two significant projects which will help Dominica better withstand the climate and economic shocks and transform the lives of its people,” said Stefan Kossoff, Development Director for the Caribbean, UK‟s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.
The first phase of the Loubiere to Bagatelle Road Project will include the construction of 52 culverts and five bridges. “The procurement process for the road project is underway. Bids are to be submitted by April 26, 2022, and if all goes well, we anticipate an award of the contract by June 2022,” Prime Minister Skerrit said, adding that the contract for the water supply project would be awarded by August 2022, with physical works expected to commence in September 2022.
The water project will improve sanitation, increase the pipe water supply, and enhance the reliability of water service to populations in Wotten Waven, Trafalgar, Castle Bruce, Morne Jaune, Coulibistrie, Grand Savanne, Salisbury, Calibishie and the Roseau Valley.