Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Morocco Hotel Disaster Continues

There have been some squirmy discussions regarding the Morocco Hotel but like many other matters of serious concern, the people and the media in Dominica are too afraid to demand answers from a government that has a proven record of failure and one that is very quick to use the high-handed button to suppress candor.  The Roosevelt Skerrit administration is more than happy with just a flail “tou cho tou flam” discussion on what seems to be another abandoned hotel project in Dominica. Without fear of intimidation MiTC will continue to inform the people of Roosevelt Skerrit’s maladministration.
As usual we have decided to go where the floundering media in Dominica is too afraid to go. We went on a journey to find out what may have gone wrong with the Morocco hotel and why are we seeing the same type of desertion like we see at the Layou River Hotel. We thought about reaching out to the government building department and technocrats but alas, under the dictatorial Roosevelt Skerrit and Tony Astaphan Regime, the civil servants must fall in line – no one dare to tell the people what is really going on. We decided therefore to engage some external resources to figure out some of the visible flaws and problems at the site of the Morocco Hotel.
Before we share our findings, it is important to understand the evolution of the Morocco Hotel project. In 2010 Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit broadcasted plans to build a hotel in Melville Hall. According to Roosevelt Skerrit, the US $13 million (EC $35 million) Hotel was gifted to Dominica after Roosevelt Skerrit established diplomatic relations with Morocco in June 2010.  It was declared that the 50 Room hotel would complement “night landing”. On Kairi FM, PM Roosevelt Skerrit and his goons boasted that the hotel would accommodate spill over crew and passengers from night landings-Marigot was going to be buzzing with activities. We are now averaging two LIAT flights per day into Melville Hall Airport in 2016, but that discussion needs its own space.
In February 2011, the then Tourism Minister Ian Douglas was beginning to feel some heat from members of his constituency. There were a few back door moves to evict Ian from the Skerrit cult. In response, Ian Douglas took a chance and deliberately went public to contradict Roosevelt Skerrit’s position on the Morocco hotel. In a public statement Ian Douglas said, “At this point in time perhaps the Cabrits area, putting everything into consideration, may be the best location for an investment of that type.” It turned out to be a great move by Ian Douglas as Roosevelt Skerrit and his hanger-on advisers had no choice but to acquiesce to Ian’s demand. All of a sudden Portsmouth people decided that in spite of Ian’s dismal performance, Ian was now “Good To Go”. Hotel Morocco “wivais Gwatas”.
In October of 2011 the hotel construction began, but not without complications and delays. By October 2012 the project had already suffered severe setbacks and delays and PM Skerrit took some time of his traveling customs to bring comfort to fools. Skerrit said “the hotel will be completed October next year not one day later” – and the man say he has a degree in English wii. Since then, we have heard various silly excuses as to why the hotel has not been completed. Only a dunce like Simeone Albert and the inebriated would believe Skerrit’s  hokum.

Abandoned site of the Moroccan Hotel in Portsmouth
The Investigation
During our investigation we conducted site visits, analyzed photos, spoke to the local residents and consulted with professionals. After careful analysis our feeling is that the project has not only experienced financial difficulties, but that there are serious construction flaws. 
The cookie began to crumble when the reckless Skerrit administration decided to take a project that was designed for the Melville Hall area and within a few weeks after the decision, started construction at a completely different location. Needless to say there was little to no time for environmental impact studies, geotechnical analysis and prudent project planning. What we know for a fact is that there is a vast difference between the environmental and geological conditions at the Cabrits and that of the Melville Hall area. Most significantly is the fact that the Hotel site at the Cabrits is literally wetland or what we usually call a swamp. In fact the local residents commonly refer to the Morocco hotel location as “Swamp.” Many of the residents that we spoke to also stated that this area should be very dear to the counterfeit owner of the “8 wonders” of Dominica. It was once the most favored crab hunting area for crab vendors.
We have heard several rumors that the Morocco Hotel buildings have been “sinking” but we were not able to verify the allegations because security would not allow us to get into the buildings to perform the diagnostic measurements to verify the same. According to our professional sources, all new buildings will settle and the degree of settlement could be based on several factors. In conditions where the high water table fluctuates building structures could experience significant settlement or “sinking.” We found out that at “Swamp” the water table fluctuates – according to residents during the dry season the Swamp area is visibly dry and during wet season the water table rises, so much so that the crabs have to evacuate their underground caverns and find themselves in the coffers of counterfeit villa owners.
It is quite possible that during the dry season the soil loses enough moisture to cause considerable foundation settlement thus the perception of the sinking Morocco Hotel should not be discarded. The emerging question is – whether or not the dramatic fluctuation of the high water table was factored into the design when the hotel was relocated? Note well that the Melville Hall site as far as we know does not exhibit the same geological /soil condition. Did the politicians in the Roosevelt Skerrit administration railroad the building department so that they could air dropped some hotel buildings in Swamp? “All you see what could happen when we give a monkey pepper and a gun”.

At left: Close-up of water in basement.
At right: Basement opening
The evidence shows that the basements are all filled with water and according to our professionals this is serious cause for concern. So far the only logical reason for the water logged basements, is the presence of a high ground water table. We suspect that, Eckhart, the German engineer, knew of the fluctuating high ground water table and the potential risk of installing a shallow foundation or even basements at the same location. Verily Eckhart built his bungalow type house on what is referred to as a raise slab on grade- He backfilled the area and then placed a concrete slab on the backfilled area.
The new concrete block foundation walls, also raises a red flag, particularly in a swampy area. Due to the porosity of masonry blocks, block foundation walls do have an intrinsic weakness in water log conditions. The mortar joints themselves are also very vulnerable to leaks especially in a fluctuating ground water table condition. The visual evidence of the infiltrating ground water into the basements raises the questions. Was the foundation and basement slab waterproofed? Did the government allow the engineers to do what they are trained to do? A leaky basement is ideal for premature deterioration of the foundation walls and will enhance the development of molds in the buildings. Just imagine a hotel plagued by molds – a recipe for disaster. Currently these water logged basements are breeding places for mosquitos.
We know that the government is aware of the problems. People who had interacted with some of the Moroccans have informed us that the Moroccans were very concerned. We are told that the mitigation cost is astronomical and that the financiers are not willing to meet the additional cost. One would think that, to at least preserve whatever dignity that’s left, the shameless Roosevelt Skerrit administration would use some of the passport revenues to complete the Morocco Hotel but instead they have elected to give Kempinski a blank check to build and operate another hotel just a stone throw away from the deserted Morocco Hotel. Oh what another travesty!!! But then again, we gave monkey a ”boda ma jac” (pepper) and a loaded gun, so what do we expect?

At left: Concrete Block Foundation Schematic
At right: Actual Block Foundation at Basement
The question of whether or not an environmental impact statement was prepared is aligned with the concerns regarding the provisions for the handling of sewage especially in a high ground water table location. A high ground water table can be problematic for a septic tank system, if the septic system design does not account for the high ground water condition. A high ground water table could overload the septic tank and cause surface leaks through manhole covers. Additionally the high ground water table could inundate the soak pit or drainage field to help create flooding and sewage leak into the ground water. It is for this reason and more, that an environmental impact statement is absolutely necessary.   A threat to our ground water condition is a threat to our lives and livelihood, and it is quite asinine that the citizens would give a politician unfettered rights to threaten our lives, our health and our livelihood. According to the professionals that we spoke to there is no indication of an appropriate sewage handling system.
During our site visit we also noticed that weep holes (drain Holes) were conveniently drilled through the buildings peripheral walls. The attached photos also show signs of draining water near the ring beams. Based on the evidence it appears that the roofs may be leaking. So as it stands, the basements are water logged and there seem to be leaks from above. Why does it seem that everything Roosevelt Skerrit manages becomes a calamity? When it rains it really really pours.

In conducting our investigation we realize that there was no need to even analyze the lies and distortion that comes from a pathological liar. We figure Ian Douglas’ remarks are always done under “D Special” circumstances and so what else to do but giggle. Nevertheless we decided to take a closer look at what is before us as evidence of another Roosevelt Skerrit failure. We see a construction site that has not seen any construction activities over the last three (3) years; Construction equipment left on the job site is almost covered with grass.
We see unfinished buildings with water logged basements and leaks from above. Interestingly, we have been informed recently that the fences are being elevated to keep prying eyes from seeing the fiasco that exists as The Morrocan Hotel. We are 100% certain that an environmental impact statement was not prepared and that there was no due diligent planning for the “Swamp” area. Until we see otherwise we believe that this Morocco hotel project is abandoned by the Roosevelt Skerrit government. We have heard the phrase “a cannot do government” but when we analyze the Roosevelt Skerrit regime we are often reminded of the idiom “the higher the monkey climb is the more it exposes its anus.” What is even more frightful is that the people gave a monkey pepper and a loaded gun and they thought it was going to be alright. SMH.

Foot Note: We expect some scrambling by the government apologists. We encourage everyone to go see what we are talking about. Also Do you think that the construction is worth EC $35 Million?. 

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  1. I assume that what is reported here is factual. If so what a disaster

  2. Is D Special moment abphrase for sue

  3. Major human casualties including death, major physical damage, significant impact on critical and routine business activities, media visibility, potential customer and shareholder impact.

  4. These earliest settlers-now the Berbers-interrupted any attempt at taking over Morocco's interior. When the Romans came quite a few years later, the Moroccan Berbers astonishingly withstood this a car in casablanca morocco


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