DOMINICA -- Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit visited Silver Lake earlier today
and told the media that Government will move swiftly, ensuring that
there is work day and night to resettle those displaced by the fire in
Silver Lake which occurred
"It was an unfortunate occurrence but you know, thank God no one was injured and no one died from this incident," said Prime Minister Skerritt.
"Everybody has life today and therefore we have to thank God for that. We are meeting now in the Cabinet to take certain actions in
response to the fire and to provide assistance to the families that have
"From last night the Government officials and some Ministers were on
site to provide support. The ODM (Office of Disaster Management) which
is the Government agency responsible for disaster management is
coordinating government's response and that will
be led by the head of the ODM Mr. Fitzroy Pascal and also our
consultant Mr. Cecil Shillingford. And he will speak to the actions that
the ODM has taken in response to disaster, the opening of shelters,
provision of supplies to the shelters. We will certainly
deal with the immediate, and medium term, and long term response to the
"I was able, along with several of my Minister colleagues to visit
the site this morning and to meet with the victims. We were able to
address them; we were able to hear from them as to what are the issues,
what kind of assistance they believe the government
can provide in addition to some of the assistance which the Government
would be providing.
PM Skerrit: Govt prepared to rent accommodation for all 20 families
"What I would say is this: we will provide the families with all
their needs: clothing - we're putting clothing together; all of the
foodstuff - the Government will provide this and that will be
coordinated by the ODM. The shelters will be coordinated by
the ODM with support by the local government commissioner and his team.
"There are six apartments under construction and instructions have been given for the construction to resume as early as
Wednesday. A second set of apartments, a contract will be issued
to a contractor to commence where the fire
occurred where this long house was - another set of apartments will be
constructed and we are hoping the contractor can be mobilized as early
Thursday this week to commence construction.
"We have been able to send heavy equipment on site this morning; it
is currently on site doing some clearing so that we can minimize hazards
that are present there in the first instance. Secondly, to prepare for
the construction of the second set, third
set of apartments in Silver Lake.
morning the Government will provide the head of each household - we
have 20 families that have been reported to have been affected by the
fire - and
morning in addition to the clothing and the food stuff and all of the
which the families will be provided with, the Government will provide
each family with $1,000 EC to allow them to be independent and to be
able to shop for some of their basic things that they would require.
People may have certain likes and dislikes, therefore
we would give them that freedom to be able to shop for themselves in
addition to all what the Government will be providing to them.
"Following this $1,000, the families will be provided weekly or
fortnightly or monthly, and that will be determined, an income support
allowance similar to what we provided the residents of Petite Savanne
following T.S. Erika but the whole idea with the
apartments is to have them constructed in record time so that we can
minimize the dislocation of those families and resettle them with great
So our hope is that the contractors and this is going to be a very
firm position to any of the contractors we are going to be using, that
you have to work night and day. We have to work...when it comes to
4 o'clock we have to continue working so that construction
can be hastened and we can have some resettlement.
"every single child [who is from Silver Lake] will go to school" when school re-opens. This comment follows a visit to fire victims on Tuesday morning at Silver Lake.
PM Skerritt said, "In respect of school for the children we will ensure that when school reopens that every single child will go to school with all the supplies: books, uniforms, school bags, shoes. We will provide all of that for the children. When they get to school, nobody will know they had a fire at home. They will be fully decked for school like any other child in their class."
Skerrit also welcomed support from those who "have" saying, "Dominicans who have who want to provide them with assistance - fine but there is no need to have any radio-thon or PayPal or bank account opened and soliciting money - that's not necessary. The Government, as we've done in similar situations with disasters, will come forward and assist them fully with the medium term and long-term solution."