ROSEAU, Dominica, Wednesday December 28, 2016 – Intense work is expected to get off the ground this week to rebuild houses for 20 families who lost all their possessions in a massive blaze on Boxing Day.
Raging fire swept through the community of Silver Lake around 9.50 p.m. on Monday, destroying two eight-room apartment buildings. No one was injured in the blaze.
The Dominica government has come to the rescue of the affected residents, promising its full support for the fire victims, with Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit declaring that the affected families would not have to depend on charity and other efforts.
In a post on his Facebook page, Skerrit said: “The Government, as we have done in similar situations with disasters…will come forward and assist them fully with immediate and long-term solutions.”
As early as today, the affected families will receive $1,000 and, in the coming weeks, an allowance to support themselves.
“Following this $1,000, the families will be provided weekly or fortnightly or monthly – and that will be determined – an income support allowance,” Skerrit said while touring the affected area yesterday, adding that they will also be receiving food, clothing and other necessary items.
He also gave the assurance that the affected children will be fully ready for the start of the new school term next month.
The Prime Minister stressed that rebuilding the houses was a priority and a contract would be issued today to get the work going.
“Another set of apartments will be constructed and we are hoping the contractor can be mobilized as early as Thursday this week to commence construction,” he said.
He urged the contractor to work tirelessly, night and day if required, to complete the project so the fire victims can return to their community.
In the meantime, the families will be housed at the two shelters in Bath Estate with the help of the Office of Disaster Management.
Disaster Risk Management consultant Cecil Shillingford told Dominica News Online that the ODM would provide sleeping bags, mattresses and a comfort kit with toiletries to the head of each household.
Meanwhile, police and fire officials are continuing investigations into the incident.