The leader of the Dominica Labour Party Government, Hon. Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit asserts that change was brought to Dominica when the reins of leadership was given over to the Labour party.
He says that change is even more evident now when, even in these financially challenging times, so much has been accomplished.
The Prime Minister stated, “We all know that change came to Dominica in February 2000 when we replaced the United Workers Party with the coalition government; and we have seen the transformation. We have seen the transformation in agriculture, infrastructure, education and healthcare.’
He began, “Before 2005, we had no Intensive Care Unit in Dominica. When I speak to doctors and they tell me the number of persons who have gone through this Intensive Care Unit, it tells us that we can appreciate the number of people who may have died because of the lack of the Intensive Care Unit.
“We have the Mammogram machine now, the CT Scanner- we had to go to Antigua to do CT Scans before. When we came into government there were no dialysis machines at the hospital; now we have nine top-class dialysis machines at the hospital providing services to people suffering with kidney problems.”
Government which considers youth the catalyst for change is especially proud of the change it has brought in the area of education.
The former education minister continued, “When we came into office, 44% of all primary school graduates had access to high school. We set ourselves a target to achieve Universal Secondary Education in 2007; this Government achieved it in 2005- two years in advance. This was because of our concerted efforts and investments in education.
“When we came into office in 2000, only 7% of all high school graduates in Dominica had access to the college. It meant that 92% of all high school graduates never made it beyond high school in Dominica. How could you develop a country without trained and skilled people? We had to educate our masses and today we have set the platform at the State College with the construction of the facilities at Stockfarm to allow for 100%; today it is 87%. To the 13%, you need to get the minimum requirements to get into the college because there’s a space for you at the State college.”
Agriculture has also been receiving focused attention from the DLP Government.
“The only problem that this Government has in agriculture is that we do not talk sufficiently of what we do in agriculture, if we have to speak about what we are doing in agriculture, it would take a very long time.
We have invested more in agriculture than any Government in this country. When we decided to construct a coffee plant, the Opposition laughed at us; we were ridiculed in Parliament. [They said] ‘We have no coffee, why do we need a coffee plant?’”
Hon Skerrit went on, “France and Switzerland have no cocoa trees but they sell chocolates to us. We have rehabilitated several hundreds of acres of coffee in Dominica and we have planted several thousand cocoa seedlings with a view to supplying the coffee plant with domestically grown coffee and we have already secured the markets in the ALBA countries.”
Based on the 2014/2015 National Budget, the DLP Government clearly has planned even more positive changes for the economic expansion of this island.
Source: GIS Dominica