The Government of Dominica has recognized the significance of feeder roads to farming communities and as such has begun to pay more attention to their upkeep.

In that vein, GIS embarked on a tour of ongoing road projects in Wesley and Woodfordhill on April 11th, 2013, accompanied by Parliamentary Representative for the area, Hon. Gloria Shillingford.

The tour began at the one hundred foot long Mopo/Shilling Road, one week after work commenced.

Chairman of the Wesley Village Council, Matthew Prince explained that the road was well-needed for a while and previous rehabilitation efforts were incomplete.

According to Prince the ten thousand dollar road, which is expected to be completed by May, will serve as an optional emergency exit for the community.

In the spirit of community development, the workers on the project are volunteers from the area.

The Council Chairman is pleased with the efforts of the Parliamentary Representative. He credits the project’s success to the partnership between the council and Hon. Shillingford.

The tour then continued to the Joe Burton Road in Wesley where Foreman Maymon Cuffy shared his thoughts on the project.

He believes that the road will improve the overall ambiance of the community while giving local builders the opportunity to showcase their skills.

The Joe Burton Road Project was divided between two local contractors: Lennox Christmas with section one and McVan Prosper with section two.

On location with Prosper; the project chief said the road means great things for the community of Wesley.

In anticipation of the project’s completion, farmers who had previously abandoned their farms are returning to prepare to replant.

Archibald Prince, one local employee told GIS he is proud to be a part of a project to help develop his community.  He said, “it’s my community, I will always be willing to help Wesley.”

While on site, life-long farmer, Hobbs St. John took a minute to speak with GIS on his way home from his garden.

“One time it was very good but it was left to become dilapidated but now I am seeing improvements. Other farmers are seeing it too and now all the farmers [of the area] can benefit and do more on the farm. With these roads farmers can now apply themselves and produce more and earn more...” He said.

The next stop on the tour was the Mango-Gutter Road where thirty-five men were grateful to be gainfully employed.

Foreman Felix Telemacque, felt strongly that projects like these mean a lot to people of the area.

To Telemacque, the best facet of community-based projects is the fact that the employment opportunities are being made available for locals.

The tour ended at the Sympa Road where contractor Addison Prince revealed that at the time of the interview, only three hundred feet remained to be completed of the fifteen hundred foot road project.

Farmers in the area believe the rehabilitation of the road will encourage growers to return with new enthusiasm to their livelihoods.

At the end of the tour, Hon Gloria Shillingford, Parliamentary Representative for Wesley stated that she was very satisfied with the attitude of the local contractors.

“I think they have taken it as their personal projects and they have claimed the project as their own thereby putting in even more effort and that is going to stretch the dollar even further. I am very happy for what is happening.”

“For some of the farmers who have vehicles it is a great relief for them and I, as their Parliamentary Representative, am happy because when they are unhappy so am I,” she said.

Hon.  Shillingford is thankful for the support and patience of residents and pledged her continued devotion to the work of developing the communities in her care.