The number of people in need of hurricane shelter across the island has dropped significantly following government efforts to build resilience.

The construction of new resilient houses and regional emergency shelters are advances that have helped to change these statistics. Dominica has gone from seven thousand ninety-six in 2021 to well over eight thousand two hundred this year, where capacity is given.

This reduces the number of people needed to live in their homes and occupy the shelters. In 2021, three thousand nine hundred and thirty-one people needed shelters in 2021, while three thousand six hundred and forty people will need shelter services this year.

The 2022 hurricane season is expected to be above average and one hundred and nineteen shelters will be made available to citizens across the island.

The Local Government Commissioner, Mr Glenroy Toussaint, said a national analysis of capacities and emergency needs has already been carried out.

“Measures have been put in place to protect our citizens in Dominica. As with everything else, we need to ensure that our communities are prepared, but we provide the emergency shelters. So for this year we have seen an increase and that is largely due to the two regional emergency shelters that have been built and put into operation. So we went from 114 shelters in 2021 to 119 in 2022,” Toussaint said.

The Local Government Commissioner believes that the construction of these regional emergency shelters will ease the burden from traditional shelters to include schools.

“It will really ease the burden on schools. As you know, 45% of our emergency shelters are schools, but we are looking at a situation this year where we are actually removing a number of schools from that list. Castle Bruce Primary and Secondary Schools will be closed. Canefield/Massacre Primary School will be closed. The Mahaut community center will be closed. The intention here is to allow as many people as possible in this catchment area of ​​Mahaut to be accommodated at Jimmit Regional Refuge. So that in itself has really taken the burden off the schools for Jimmit and Catsle Bruce,” he explained.

The refuge managers and their team will carry out the preparation work of the refuge. The local government commissioner says more will be done to ensure managers are better equipped to help the public.

” We must go further. It’s not just about having them. It’s about building their capacity; equip them with the required training and so what we’ve done over the last few months is we’ve hired and trained 120 shelter managers; most of whom are new and we have gone further in finding potential shelter managers, as we recognize the critical role these people play in running and enabling us to have an effective and efficient shelter administration at the Dominica. And what we did was we looked at Kalinago Territory as a separate space, so we did the training in the seven local government districts, but we also added an eighth district because we felt that we should identify Kalinago territory as a separate space,” Toussaint noted.

Improvements will be made this year to ensure that the release of information to the public is timely, accurate and consistent.

“We needed to capture very valuable data in terms of how many people are in the shelters, the condition of those people, the amenities in the shelters, the supplies and things of that nature and that in self we encountered great difficulties with . And as a result of that, we developed what we call a shelter management information system specific to emergency shelters around the island. What it will do is one, map all of our shelters for us; 2) capture valuable data about emergency shelters when activated; we talk about user information and bio data so that we know exactly who the people are, what their conditions are, the ages, how many children, how many babies and the medical conditions of these people,” Toussaint added. . .

Government housing development and the construction of these emergency shelters across the island are providing relief to the people of Dominica in this hurricane season. These infrastructures are built to withstand hurricane-force winds and seismic activity.