Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has said that his government has put in place a ministerial and technical committee to oversee the international airport project.
The prime minister said recently on his weekly radio talk show that while the project is a costly one, Dominica is in need of an international airport.
“What we have also done is we have put in place a ministerial committee to oversee this airport project and also a technical committee to oversee the airport,” he stated. “For now, the technical committee is with public officers. We intend to extend it to the private sector and other interest groups in the next week or two so that there is a greater involvement of the whole of the country in respect to the airport.”
He mentioned also that property owners in Wesley created a ‘Property Owners Committee’ “and we have almost formalized that committee to work with us on the ground to inform us of the issues and concerns.”
Skerrit said the committee has been working very well in collaboration with his government.
“We intend to have two representatives from this committee to serve on the national committee as well, so that there is a sharing of information and communication going on, on a daily basis,” he explained.
He said committees are expected to meet every week to follow-up on issues relating to the construction of the International Airport.
“I have said to them we need to work assiduously to meet our target for this project,” the prime minister stated.
He said that he met with a number of farmers and property owners in Wesley last week Thursday (August 27), several of them whose properties have to be acquired by the government.
“I really want to place on public record, I may have done so before but I want to reiterate it this evening, my extreme gratitude and profound gratitude to the property owners in the Wesley and Woodford Hill area. People there have been exceptional with their collaboration and cooperation,” he stated.
The prime minister revealed that the government has concluded surveys for some 233 properties of varying sizes of people who have agricultural lands, residential lots and homes on the residential lots.
He said that these people have legitimate concerns which the government accepts and which they intend to respond to in a pragmatic and practical way.
“We have been able to respond to the suggestions of the property owners,” Skerrit said. “So in some cases, there are people who want cash for their lands and will be facilitated, there are people whose homes are being affected and they want a home replaced and we will be facilitating that.”
Those Wesley and Woodford Hill homeowners who have been affected will, according to the prime minister, be put in houses which the government plans to construct on about 40 acres of land that has been subdivided for that purpose.
Skerrit said the government has also done crop assessment for about 29 farmers there.
He went on to say that there are 15 landowners who have indicated that they want money for their lands and those 15 people will be facilitated as early as Friday this week.
“…I have also mandated the Ministry of Housing and the technical committee to go back to Wesley where they will be presenting the designs and floor plans for the homes which we will be building for people who may be affected,” the primer minister stated.