Prime Minister Skerrit meets CDB officials after Erika disaster
Prime Minister Skerrit meets CDB officials after Erika disaster

The Caribbean Development Bank has approved a US$30 Million loan to assist with Dominica reconstruction after passage of Tropical Storm Erika.

CDB said the Board of Directors approved the loan on Thursday, December 10, 2015.

"The loan is to assist with recovery from the impact of Tropical Storm Erika, while reducing the risks associated with landslides and flood hazards," the CDB said in a press statement.

"This will include the rehabilitation and reconstruction of critical infrastructure within the Roseau and Layou Valleys, as well as the conducting of a feasibility study for proposed infrastructure work along the Pointe Michel to Soufriere corridor."

Specific areas to be impacted include the road network within the Roseau and Layou Valleys.

The loan will finance public works such as slope stabilization, road reconstruction, drainage works, the full reconstruction of Trafalgar Bridge, rehabilitation of the Copt Hall Bridge and the realignment and reconstruction of Wotten Waven Bridge.

Daniel Best, Director of Projects, CDB, said that the intention is to restore the infrastructure to better than pre-Erika levels, while building on lessons learnt during the passage of the storm.

"Landslides and flooding were the major causes of loss, fatalities and injuries during the passage of Erika. Major sections of the road network were rendered impassable as a result of land slippage, fallen trees and flooding. This project is intended to restore the damaged infrastructure, as well as mitigate against future incidents of land slippage and flooding, while ensuring continued safe access."

The statement also announced that "The CDB Board also approved a grant of USD149, 500 to assist in financing the engagement of two engineering design consultants with expertise in Structural Engineering, with emphasis on bridge and drainage design; and Hydraulic Engineering, with emphasis on surface water drainage and coastal hydraulics.

"Tropical Storm Erika ravaged Dominica on August 27, 2015, and an initial World Bank led assessment of the total damage and loss was estimated at USD483 million, which is equivalent to 90 percent of Dominica's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Previous assistance provided by CDB in the wake of Tropical Storm Erika includes an Emergency Response Grant of USD200, 000 and an Immediate Response Loan of USD750,000. Additional grant funds of USD700, 000 were provided through CDB's Basic Needs Trust Fund.