Roseau, Dominica– April 26, 2010…… Residents of the community of Laudat converged at the Laudat Government School last Wednesday evening for a discussion on the status of works on the Laudat section of the Valley Roads project better known as the Road Improvement and Maintenance Project (RIMP).
In attendance at the Meeting were Parliamentary Representative for the Roseau Valley constituency, Hon. John Colin McIntyre and officials from the Ministry of Public Works, Energy and Ports, including the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Nicholas Bruno, Chief Technical Officer, Mr. Kendell Johnson and Senior Engineer, Mr. Erickson Lewis.
Mr. Ian Singh represented the contractors, Dipcon Engineering Limited and Mr Jean Guy Bandville represented the consultants, Dessau International. Mr. Aaron Rolle was the representative of the Laudat Improvement Committee.
The Road Improvement and Maintenance Project, valued at over EC$22 million is behind schedule.
In his remarks to the villagers, Chief Technical Officer, Mr. Kendell Johnson explained that a number of factors have contributed to the delays on the project.
“We are very late or delayed because of several reasons. The original scope of the project did not envisage that amount of excavation and road works. As a result the extra works needed more time to be done. Critically for the Laudat section though was the incident of a slide close to Trafalgar-Laudat junction. Because of that incident heavy equipment could not be transported towards Laudat, thus slowing down the pace of works. As a result that end suffered some delays,” Mr Johnson stated.
The CTO also cited what he referred to as “the apparent slowness of the contractor” as another reason for the delays. The inability by the contractor to get sufficiently and adequately skilled local labour and more equipment and resources to do the works also contributed in some measure to the delays, Johnson confirmed.
In spite of these difficulties, Mr Johnson referred to a “fair amount of mobilisation now taking place in Laudat ” and expressed optimism for the success of the project going forward.
In response to several questions from villagers, representative of the contractor, Mr. Ian Singh gave the commitment that his company would finish the Laudat section of the project by July 15th 2010.
Mr. Singh stated all that remains to be done is “surfacing of the road, further safety work and the building of four more culverts”.
At the end of the meeting, Permanent Secretary, Nicholas Bruno commended the people of Laudat for their patience during the execution of the project. Mr Bruno also pledged to continue to work with the contractor and the consultants to ensure the speedy completion of the project.
“ Today we feel that the community is with us on this. We appreciate the sacrifices you have made. We will continue to do all in our power to ensure that we have a happy outcome. We will continue, as you rightly say, to impress on Mr. Singh that a commitment has to be just that, a commitment. And when you give a commitment to a community, that commitment must be met. As a Ministry, we will continue to work with Mr. Singh and the consultants in an attempt to resolve your concerns and to ensure that the project is finished and finished successfully..”
Prior to the meeting with the residents of Laudat, Prime Minster, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit and Minister for Public Works, Hon. Rayburn Blackmoore walked certain sections of the Laudat road to get a fuller appreciation of the status of works on the Laudat component of the project. They were joined by officials from the Ministry of Public Works, Mr. Ian Singh from Dipcon Engineering , Mr. Jean Guy Bandville of Dessau International and Mr. Aaron Rolle from the Laudat Improvement Committee.