Roseau, Dominica – May 30, 2008…….The Waitukubuli National Trail Project (WNTP) entered an important phase this week with the commencement of three (3) activities.
Two officials from the Chamber of Commerce of Martinique are currently in Dominica to help identify business opportunities along the full length of the National Trail and within the communities near the Trail itself.
While in Dominica the officials have held discussions with officials from the Ministry of Tourism including the Minister, Honourable Ian Douglas, Project Manager of the Project Management Unit of the WNTP, Mrs. Yvanette Baron-George, officials from the Forestry, Wildlife and Parks Division among others. They also participated in a Community Tourism Development Workshop.
It is expected that the team will explore ideas on new entrepreneurial opportunities along and near the Trail, and make recommendations on how to improve business ventures currently existing.
In addition to this, a landscape training programme is currently underway in the Emerald Pool area and is being facilitated by officials from the Regional National Park of Martinique. The commencement of a training programme in landscaping signifies an important phase in the full development of the Waitukubuli National Trail.
Seventeen (17) persons including nine (9) from the Forestry Division are participating in this one-week training programme. Plants were propagated over a three (3) month period prior to the start of the landscaping training programme.
Meanwhile four (4) Dominicans are currently in Martinique undergoing training in woodwork in preparation for the building of outdoor facilities for the Trail. These include shelters, steps, board walks and viewing platforms among other structures.
Work on the Waitukubuli National Trail Project has intensified in recent months. A series of training programmes in Trail Construction and Vegetation Management have been completed. Over the next few weeks, we can expect to see construction on a number of segments that form part of the National Trail.
The WNTP is a long distance trail estimated at 184 km or 115 miles which is expected to traverse the country in a north-south direction. The Trail comprises fourteen (14) discontinued segments.
The Trail and ancillary services will be established by linking existing trails /defining new trails and eco-tourist sites while integrating local communities and community organisations in the operation of the trail.
The project is expected to make a major contribution to the generation of sustained employment for hundreds of Dominicans, and thereby contribute to growth and poverty reduction in our country.
In 2004, the Government of Dominica committed Euro 4.4 million (14.9 million ECD) from its envelope of funds for SFA 2003 for the construction of the Waitukubuli National Trail.