Roseau, Dominica – May 6, 2008……… Monday, May 5, 2008 marked three years since the General Election that returned the Dominica Labour Party, under the astute leadership of Prime Minister, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit to power.
Despite the devastating impact of Hurricane Dean in August 2007, the inexorable rise in fuel prices and the economic slowdown in the United States and the other major industrialised countries, the Dominica government can point to a significant number of achievements in the last twelve months.
The highlights of the last year include:
1. Continued vigilance in the management of the public finances
2. $6 million in cash support provided by Government for post Hurricane Dean disaster relief
3. Dominica joined ALBA, an arrangement that will bring about significant benefits for the country in many areas. ALBA Bank recently capitalised with an initial sum of US$1 billion
4. Government’s Housing Revolution continued to impact the lives of thousands of Dominicans across the country
5. Work began on the construction of forty-one houses in the Carib Territory
6. Commencement of $8.6 million Carib Territory Capacity Building project
7. Work is continuing on the $3.2 million Carib Territory/Atkinson Water Supply Project
8. Government continued in its quest to build a knowledge-based economy with the commencement of the ICT Development Programme at a cost of $4 .4 million euros ($17 million ECD).
9. US$20 million Fuel Distribution Plant at Jimmit now 85% complete
10. Progress made at the Melville Hall Airport with the completion of earth movement and river diversion and the transfer of customs and immigration to new section
11. First phase of Tax Reform programme has resulted in an additional 1036 persons no longer paying income tax. Hundreds of taxpayers are now better off.
12. Work continues on the $6.2 million Roosevelt Douglas Primary School
13. Work continues on the new $6.1 million Indian River Bridge
14. Commissioning of Giraudel/ Eggleston/Castle Comfort Water Supply
15. Launch of the $13.5 million Dominica Social Investment Fund
16. $20.7 million received from CARICOM Petroleum Fund for post-Dean reconstruction
17. Completion of the Soufriere/Scotts Head Sea Defence project at a cost of $12 million
18. $22.3 million contract signed for the rehabilitation and upgrade of the Valley Roads
19. New bridge in Lagoon completed at a cost of $2.2 million
20. Work underway on the Blenheim-Thibaud section of the Blenheim to Vieille Road
21. Work is continuing on the Tantan Sea Defense and associated works. Cost of the project is about $3 million.
22. Layou River bank protection now underway at a cost of $4.2 million
23. Byak Road Slope stabilisation and works at Cabanis at a cost of some $3.5 million
24. Rehabilitation and associated road infrastructure improvements at Fond Cole, Federation Drive, Portsmouth, Wotten Waven and Riviere Cyrique
25. Government equipped Police Force with twenty-one(21) vehicles in the last twelve months
26. EU approved $36 million for economic growth and private sector development. Assistance is being provided as direct non-targeted budget support
27. Government’s thrust into the exploitation of Dominica’s geothermal energy resources boosted with the signing of Transnational Partnership Agreement with the French
28. Launch of a project entitled Preparation of a Geothermal-based Cross-Border Electrical Interconnection in the Caribbean at a cost of 4 million euros
29. New Type 3 Health Centre opened in Castle Bruce at a cost of $1.3 million
30. Start of implementation of Waitukubuli National Trail Project (WNTP)
31. Phase II of the new Dominica Grammar School ongoing at a cost of $3.5 million
32. $8 million received from Venezuela for National Security
33. An investment of $20 million in the agricultural sector in the short to medium-term
34. Government responded swiftly after the passage of Hurricane Dean. The sum of $4.02 million provided to Dominica Banana Producers Limited (DBPL). $3.98 million was provided as direct financial assistance largely to non-banana farmers, fishermen, livestock farmers and producer organizations.
35. Successful completion of the Eco-Tourism Development Programme, funded by the European Commission and the Government of Dominica.
36. A record Two hundred and eighteen(218) nurses are currently being trained at various levels
37. Record numbers of Dominicans studying at Universities in China, Venezuela, United States, the University of the West Indies, Dominica State College etc.
38. Refurbishment of Psychiatric Unit of the Princess Margaret Hospital at a cost of about $500,000 ECD.
The next twelve months will see even more benefits of government’s investments in the housing, agricultural, information and communication technology and tourism sectors.
Some major capital projects are also expected to begin in the course of the next twelve months. These include the first phase of the Canefield-Melville Hall Road, the Roseau Road Reinstatement Project and the West Coast Road.
Government recognises a difficult period ahead but remains confident that its policies will bring about greater levels of economic activity and higher living standards.