The Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, reported in his daily brief that the recent, light rain on the Caribbean island has been “a blessing,” helping clear excessive dust particles in the air due to debris following the destruction from Hurricane Maria which was causing respiratory problems for islanders.
Speaking more at length on the recovery efforts after the death and widespread devastation left in the wake of Category 5 Hurricane, Skerrit emphasized that one of the greater challenges has been repairing rooftops that were compromised by the tropical storm's strong winds.
The prime minister reiterated that while the weather has stalled rebuilding, many schools are scheduled to reopen today, allowing students to get back “into the learning groove.” The news was just one measure described by Skerrit as a “positive sign” in the overall recovery effort.
He urged residents to stay tuned to updates made by the Ministry of Education which will confirm the reopening of more schools tomorrow or later in the week.
Skerrit went on to state the the pace of recovery will not depend solely on the government or external donor agencies, but the whole of the people of Dominica and “how we treat our country. And what contribution we're prepared to make as small or big as it is.”
The prime minister noted that the homes of many senior citizens and disabled people were still damaged, despite the island receiving tarpaulin from donor countries such as Venezuela, Palestine, Cuba and Jamaica and a host of non-governmental agencies.
“Can you imagine if all of the churches in Dominica were to encourage their membership to go and help cover temporarily the roofs of the senior citizens in each of the villages, what would happen overnight?,” Skerrit pondered.
The Caribbean leader urged introspection on himself and everybody in Dominica to gauge their contributions, individually and collectively, in the island's recovery efforts. “Where shall history place me in terms of my own conspiration to my country, community and people?” he asked, referring to himself and fellow Dominicans.
At least 30 people were killed and hardly a tree remained intact on Dominica after the passage of Hurricane Maria.
UNICEF reported that the entire child population, some 23,000 children, are in a vulnerable situation due to the scarcity of clean drinking water.