Thursday, March 1, 2018

Post Maria Abuse of Dominicans

The Dominica Labour Party (DLP) government led by Roosevelt Skerrit continues to play politics with the aid sent to Dominicans by friendly governments, organizations and individuals after the destruction by Hurricane Maria that took place on September 18, 2017.  The world responded quickly with cash, kind and volunteerism in order to assist victims to get their lives back to normalcy.

Even before Hurricane Maria, the political maneuvering of relief supplies(ration) was boldface by the likes of Martin Charles, who was in charge of a warehouse next to Clear Harbor at the Canefield Industrial Estate. The Aid Bank where Charles is Chairman manages that Estate. After Tropical Storm Erika, Charles and other DLP lackeys were on the rampage by going through the supplies and taking all the upper shelf items for themselves. Even package that were clearly marked for specific communities, groups and individuals were taken. Ask Mr. Stewart Paris of STEWCO about his package that ended up at the same warehouse and the items that went missing. Hurricane Maria destroyed the warehouse and exposed the wickedness of Skerrit and his gang of rogues. Everything in the shed was exposed.

After Maria these guys got more ruthless. They didn't care who the donors say to give their cash or items, since they got into their hands to hell with the donors. They played so much politics with the ration, several containers of food items had to be dumped because they overstayed on the port. Skerrit’s cronies are so dangerous, generators were sent and several of them took the generators without permission. Skerrit have to send police to retrieve the generators. Imagine some of his cronies had generators for sale. Where they got the generators to sell? Ask Floyd Capitolin.

After hurricanes Irma and Maria, countries like St Martin and the BVI decided to first provide rebuilding contracts to local heavy equipment owners and contractors. They wanted their citizens to first benefit from the work that was available to put their respective countries back on track. But in Dominica we continue to see the total opposite.

In October 2018, Former Prime Minister of Barbados, Mr. Owen Arthur warned PM Skerrit about making Barbados-born economist Avinash Persaud his senior economic advisor. With Hartley Henry on his back with a whip, Skerrit refused the wise counsel from Arthur.  In November 2017, Barbadian precast and construction firm Preconco Limited was awarded a no bid contract by the government of Dominica. In January 2018, a fleet of heavy equipment carrying the logo, “Dominica Strong” landed in Dominica. Heavy equipment owners in Dominica blew some hot air about protest actions then put their tails between their legs and went quiet. While their equipment are taking dust and rust, millions of dollars are heading to Trinidad. Absolutely no respect for hard working Dominicans.

Skerrit and his cronies are so mischievous they took the $18 million grant from the World Bank that was made available for farmers and fisher-folk and used it for vote buying. Paros took rentals and were drinking red label whiskey from farmers money that they wrongfully received. We are aware of a bus driver from St Joseph who was not qualified and the same Martin Charles ensured that he got. A former DLP St Joe candidate who is employed with the government and his wife, both got money. The mother-in-law of a DLP candidate who is employed with the state and has her corn & plantain roasting small business in Coulibistrie also unfairly got farmers and fisher-folk money. Because of Skerrit’s savagery, Extension Officers lives continue to be at serious risks because Skerrit put the blame on them.

Even the Emergency Cash Relief Programme that is being financed by UNICEF and the World Food Program (WFP) was also hijacked by Labour operatives at the level of the village council. Their operatives bypassed the homes of people who they perceived are not in support of the DLP when they were doing the survey. Imagine the composition of a cross section of the village that UNICEF and WFP recommended to be on a committee to properly select the recipients was disregarded. Employees of the Local Government Department were disturbed by this insensitive behavior.

Now the focus has moved to building materials. 90 percent of Dominica’s housing stock got damaged by Maria and  building material is needed to address this situation successfully. UNDP did a complete survey of our over 26000 households. The information is readily available to the DLP government to know exactly where help is most needed.

Since Maria, support for housing has being coming steadily. We have seen Digicel in the East, International Office for Migration (IOM) in the North East and now on the West coast and Red Cross in Layou among others. In Chance, Portsmouth some really inferior zinc houses were given to some needy families. The houses were donated to MP Ian Douglas by his friends in Trinidad but they were hijacked by mayor of Portsmouth Titus Francis and his gang. These houses are even more dangerous than plywood houses in a category hurricane. I see it as a total disrespect to the recipients, their lives and also the climate resilience initiative.

We have also seen a steady inflow of building materials. It is alleged that Bulkan Timber Works Inc of Guyana sent containers of high-end, kiln-dried lumber and all was given to Sam Raphael for Jungle Bay Resort.

Jimmit storage yard
Steel is being stored on the Public Works compound on Goodwill Road. Tons of materials are at the Windsor Park Stadium. Also, plywood and lumber are being stored at the Waitukubuli National Trail Project compound in Jimmit, between the old Chinese building and ADA Trucking. What is very interesting in that, the area is small and every day trailers of materials continue to be offloaded there. But we are hearing during the night, trucks are loaded and sent to different places. This is material for everyone in need and the government is behaving like a thief in the night. At the Windsor Park Stadium, materials are be distributed on the recommendations of DLP Members of Parliament, caretakers and cronies. The members of the Parliamentary Opposition are once again locked out. Skerrit is calling for unity in one breath and in the other, he is openly demonstrating division.

How can we continue to take such abuse from a man who got into the leadership of this country by default? We have never experienced that level of disrespect from any of our previous leaders. Dominicans have never been that passive and tolerant before. Every section of our society is being undermined by this Skerrit government. I await to see how far Dominicans will allow Skerrit to go.

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  1. Who is the author of this article? Clearly this person is anti DLP and therefore should make a formal complaint through his or her respective party and provide evidence as proof of any wrong doing. Thanks

  2. What is the point of that. Didn't we all hear the PM pronouncements in Parliament that "No Law No Constution can stop him doing what he wants to do" what resulted from that? Absolutely nothing because in his own words Dominica is not a real country. In order to effect any changes in this country we have to hijack all the compromised institutions through force if necessary


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