Dominica last week: Top five stories you may have missed
Dominica's Alick Athanaze recorded his maiden T20 half-century and led Barbados Royals to CPL victory
In a batting performance that lit up the Kensington Oval in Barbados on Thursday evening, Dominican cricketer Alick Athanaze led the Barbados Royals to a stunning victory over the Jamaica Tallawahs in the ongoing Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
During this thrilling match, Athanaze achieved a significant milestone by securing his first CPL T20 half-century. His arrival at the crease as the fourth batsman injected excitement into the game. With finesse and elegance, he illuminated the Oval, garnering praise from commentators and fans.
The Royals clinched victory by six wickets, with Athanaze leading the charge with a remarkable 76 runs from 48 balls, featuring seven fours and three sixes.
The CPL hailed Athanaze as "a star in the making" on its X (formerly Twitter) page. At the same time, the Royals celebrated "West Indies' newest, biggest talent—now expressing himself in Pink!" on their X page, referencing the team's uniform colour.
On their Facebook page, the Royals honoured Athanaze as "The Royal of the Match."
Investigation launched into dead aquatic animals found in river
In a concerning development, Dominica's Environmental Health Department has launched a vigorous investigation into reports of the wanton disposal of deceased aquatic animals in the Layou River.
The trigger for this investigation was a viral video circulating online, revealing distressing images of what appeared to be lifeless octopuses in the river.
In a press release, The Ministry of Health says it understands the impact such activities can have on the environment and the potential risks posed to public health.
It says a team is working diligently to identify those responsible for this unacceptable behaviour. It assures the public that appropriate action will be taken against the perpetrators under the law.
They used the opportunity to remind the public of the importance of responsible waste management and that the disposal of dead aquatic animals, or any waste, should be done responsibly and environmentally friendly.
Work to begin on the GSS six years after Hurricane Maria
Come September 6, 2023, the government of Dominica, alongside the People's Republic of China (PRC), will officially break ground to mark the start of construction work on the Goodwill Secondary School (GSS).
According to Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, the school, devastated nearly six years ago during Hurricane Maria's passage, is one of numerous elementary schools across the island that the PRC will reconstruct. Following the 2017 natural disaster, the Chinese government pledged to assist Dominica with school restoration, and an agreement for school reconstruction was signed in May 2020 between the Ministry of Education and the PRC.
While he acknowledges that the GSS is at the top of the list, Skerrit stated that contracts have also been signed. Construction will soon begin for Thibaud Primary School, Tete Morne Primary School, the extension of Sineku Primary School, Calibishie Primary School, and the new school for Bellevue Chopin, Pichelin, and Petite Savanne students who are now at Bellevue Chopin.
Government begins payment of outstanding tuition to two universities amidst ultimatum
In what is being described by Dominica's Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit as a commitment to higher education for students, the government of Dominica is making good on its pledge to Dominican students in the United States of America (USA) by paying outstanding debts to two universities.
In respective letters sent to enrolled Dominican students, Midwestern State University (MSU) and Grambling State University (GSU) noted that they have exhibited patience and understanding to the government of Dominica in the face of financial challenges brought about by external factors such as the pandemic and natural disasters.
However, the mounting unpaid balances, totalling millions of dollars owed, have reached a point where the universities can no longer sustain the financial strain.
However, amid growing concerns, Prime Minister Skerrit, during a press conference, disclosed, "We have started paying for the students' studies overseas. We're sending a million US dollars to Grambling to pay for the students, and we'll be sending half a million dollars to Midwestern, so we're paying down on our debt to students."
While acknowledging the concerns expressed by students and parents, Skerrit emphasised the importance of exhibiting self-control and discipline when addressing challenges.
The Prime Minister said that his government's discreet but substantial financial investment in education reflects their dedication to creating a robust educational framework that equips Dominicans for success.
Month of the Elderly begins under the theme: "We Are Older, Not Over"
For the 18th consecutive year, the Dominica Council on Ageing (DCOA) will again observe the Month of the Elderly, dedicated to honouring the island seniors.
This year's theme, 'We Are Older, Not Over,' underscores the continued active and invaluable contributions of older individuals to society.
Throughout September, the focus will be on integrating seniors into all aspects of national development and well-being, rejecting age-based marginalisation.
Expected highlights throughout the month will include showcasing the remarkable lives of the 11 documented and one undocumented centenarian living among us.
Grandparents Day, which will be celebrated on the second Sunday of the month, featuring a radiothon and various opportunities to express admiration and respect for older people; an'Oldie Goldies Dance' on September 2 and a senior fitness session, injecting moments of joy and lightheartedness into the month-long celebration.