Local government authorities in Dominica are encouraged to encourage community participation in their activities

Roslyn Paul

As Dominica observes Local Government Month in May, Community Development Minister Roslyn Paul is urging councils on the island to provide community leadership in monitoring the interventions of the various organizations working in their jurisdiction.

Paul said community involvement continues to be key to having effective councils in Dominica.

“You have to make sure you provide accurate data and advice by presenting the needs of the communities. Take the time to communicate with your people and to serve everyone who visits your offices well and to encourage the active participation of community members in your activities,” said the Minister.

It also encourages councils to play their part in networking with other agencies to avoid waste and maximize the use of resources for the betterment and rebuilding of communities.

“It is undeniable that our government has made significant investments in the resilience agenda, providing the necessary funding,” she said. “A large percentage of these funds have been and continue to be channeled through local authorities at unprecedented levels.”

Paul therefore called on councils to pay close attention to required administrative and accounting procedures and to ensure that all funds are properly accounted for.

According to the minister, the Dominican model of local government “remains a desire of many across the Caribbean and beyond” and this achievement, she says, should be maintained.

Salisbury Village Council was recently re-established, becoming Dominica’s 39th village council and 43rd local government authority and, according to Paul, “this new village council has better positioned the community in the pursuit of a resilient Dominica. and dynamic”.

Paul encouraged councils to complete and submit all reports to relevant ministries to assist the local government department in its efforts to become “a vehicle of good governance”.

Meanwhile, Paul warned families and caregivers to act quickly to make all necessary preparations as hurricane season approaches.

“Be prepared to move early, those who need to be evacuated to a safe and secure location,” she advised.

She said the central government will continue to partner with local government, as the closest means to communities, to implement many of its recovery programs to improve the quality of life for every Dominican.

Local Government Month is observed under the theme: “Building Community Resilience through Local Government”.