The governments of Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica are providing much needed support in the area of security in Dominica following the ravages of Hurricane Maria says the island’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.
Skerrit made the comment yesterday at a press conference in which volunteers from the regional and international community gave briefs on the work they have been doing. Among those present were representatives of a number of regional and international organisations. Countries represented included the Netherlands, France, US, UK, Venezuela, and the State of Palestine which has provided 11 doctors including eight surgeons.
No representatives from TT or Jamaica were present. “Without your presence we would not have made such progress We are very grateful,” Skerrit said. Without the help, he said, Dominica would have been struggling. Dominica’s Ambassador to the US Vince Henderson said, the helicopters provided by the TT Government have been used to medivac critical patients to Martinique. The TT Air Guard, he said also air-dashed some patients from outlying areas to the Princess Margaret Hospital in the capital Roseau.
They have also shuttled essential supplies to the island from Martinique, as well as, taken some to outlying areas in need of the supplies. Skerrit had earlier noted that TT Coast Guard and the Dutch have secured the main deep water harbour. The search and rescue and other relief teams that have been on the ground since Tuesday last week after Maria devastated the islands, he said, are now being replaced by fresh teams.
To beef up the security, he said, with the help of an advisor from the Government of Jamaica, the Dominican Government will be putting a security system in place to ensure that no criminal takes advantage of the current exposure of the country. Attention will also be paid to the security of the private sector.
As a number of people are still missing, he said, the search and rescue teams are now using cadaver dogs and other technology to find them.
Several schools, he said, were damaged beyond repair. Because of the structural integrity of schools, Skerrit said, his government has sourced 15 large tents to serve as schools. They will be outfitted with desks and benches and other necessary furniture. They will also import chemical toilets. Hot meals will be provided. Classes will reopen to students of fifth forms in the first instance after which others will return to school on a phased basis.