Don't abandon Petite Savanne
A Special feature on the past , present and future of Petite Savanne
The name Petite Savanne has become synonymous with Tropical Storm Erika.
Following the devastation wreaked by the storm, most of the villagers have been evacuated.
That's right— most.
There are still a hardy few who have decided that they are not leaving.
And in fact, some feel that the village should not be abandoned at all.
Allan Moise is one such villager who is refusing to budge, even though the river washed away his house where he had lived for 65 years.
Moise looked with growing concern as the river overflowed its banks and forked. He fled his home and escaped physically unscathed.
But he does not see the sense in abandoning the village now that the storm is over.
Moise said he thinks the villagers should rise from the ashes and rebuild the community, a task he considers achievable with the input of everyone.
Some of the evacuees' homes were unaffected, Moise said, but "fear has been put into their hearts" and they are afraid to return.
Moise does not think that such an incident will happen again in the near future, adding that from the stories he has been told, such incidents occur every 20 to 40 years.
"Don't let fear and panic let us lose our consciousness…" he said.
Urban Baron, who was born and raised in Petite Savanne, also shared the view that the villagers should not abandon the community.
Baron, who is the former Parliamentary Representative believes there was sufficient food and water to sustain the villagers after the storm.
Further, the villagers are strong and resilient and could have rebuilt Petite Savanne, he said.
He argued that, in the early days after the storm, Government should have focused on restoring electricity and water to the area instead of evacuation.
Government should have let the people who could do so return to their homes, he maintained.
However, he agreed with the evacuation of the older people, children and persons who work in Roseau.