CI Shorts: After the hurricane: Keeping up with Roosevelt Skerrit
Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit is one of the most social media-savvy of the current line-up of Caribbean leaders. His Facebook postings after Hurricane Maria hit his island made global headlines.
Caribbean Intelligence© made a spot check on what Prime Minister Skerrit has been saying since returning to Twitter and continuing his Facebook postings on Dominica’s recovery efforts.
- Roosevelt Skerrit on Twitter: “Progress is being made one day at a time. It’s a long journey back #PostHurricaneMaria but we are responding.”
- The authorities in Dominica have put in place a free transport service into the capital, Roseau. The idea is to turn the capital into a “pedestrian city” for the time being. Minibuses will provide a park-and-ride service to and from Roseau. The Dominican leader said: “There are just too many people coming to the city... Emergency people cannot get through...People who are here to assist us cannot get through.” The free service will allow aid to get through faster. It will also prevent private cars blocking up damaged roads into the capital, damaging tyres on the debris and using valuable fuel. It also frees up roads for aid and repair vehicles to tackle “thousands of tons of debris”.
- Caribbean trucks and vehicles will start cleaning up the debris from Roseau outwards from the middle of the week starting 9 October. This will allow materials arriving at the port following repairs by 6 October to start being moved around the island. People have been dropping off supplies by small crafts in addition to large official aid arrivals.
- Dominica is in negotiation with the World Bank for funds. The Bank has currently committed US$65m to the island. Prime Minister Skerrit said that his government is seeking “close to US$100m”.
- Despite his own country’s woes, the Dominican leader made time to share these thoughts on Facebook on 5 October following the Las Vegas shootings: “My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims of the atrocity which took place in Las Vegas. These cowardly acts must be condemned by all. My solidarity is with the American people and Government.”
Dominica Relief fund - Details on how to make a difference
Caribbean Shorts: Bite-sized Caribbean Intelligence snapshots of the Caribbean world
Related article: Hurricane Maria in quotes and pictures
Related article: Hurricane Irma in quotes and pictures