On Friday November 6th, GIS News took a tour of the area where the evacuated residents of Dubique will be relocated.
Approximately 135 persons from the community of Dubique are expected to be relocated to Center in Grand Bay.
The entire community was evacuated after Tropical Storm Erika caused many to lose their homes and endangered lives in August.
GIS News spoke with Hon. Parliamentary Representative for the Petite Savanne Constituency which includes Dubique, Dr. Kenneth Darroux.
Not only is he is elated that Government has moved quickly to resettle the community, he also sees this as an opportunity to elevate the socio-economic status of the people of Dubique.
“As we know, Dubique is a place which has had its challenges throughout the years apart from its disaster vulnerability; it has had its socio-economic issues also. I’m very excited that we think that this is a good opportunity to get Dubique on par with the rest of the country once and for all,” he said.
He added that the new community’s name will be left up to the residents.
“As it relates to employment, I have already spoken to the contractor to ensure that skills from the Dubique community are used.”
Hon Dr. Darroux also said that young unskilled men will also be able to learn a trade on the project.
Reynold Alcendor was elected by the people of Dubique as President of the Relocation and Resettlement Committee.
“We just want to thank Government and everybody else who helped to find this good location for the community. The people are very happy and they are just waiting patiently for resettlement,” he said.
While they wait to be relocated, residents of Dubique are housed at the Grand Bay Community Center where Julia Bruno is Shelter Manager.
Overall the people of Dubique have expressed relief and are patiently waiting to move.
“We were living in disaster zone and knowing that we no longer are, things are looking up. We are excited and can’t wait to get into our new homes for sure.”
According to “Venera Joseph, “Single parents who did not have homes will find a place for themselves; it might be a bit easier for the some of the kids since we might have a playing field closer and a basketball court. It might be a bit different for some of us especially those who were self employed. Grand Bay is a place where some of us can get some more income.”
Hon. Darroux says the hope is that construction will be complete by February.
Meantime, the Member of Parliament for Petite Savanne continues to solicit the patience of his constituents.
Hon. Darroux explained that the resettlement of Petite Savanne will be more complex than that of Dubique.
He assured residents, however, that Government is doing all in its power to ensure that they are resettled as soon as possible.
“We are really working assiduously to finalise a location. We have identified a few potential sites so the technical officers are on the ground right now doing the necessary studies as it relates to vulnerability…before they make a final recommendation to Cabinet. In addition to this, we have also done our own internal surveys to take the pulse of the people as to which of the locations they prefer. The results will be [taken into consideration.]”
Three hundred petro casas were donated by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela of which 40 were allocated to the Dubique community.