Minister for Public Works, Senator Cassani Laville, has expressed concern about the damage which he says is being done to solar light fixtures installed across the island and has warned that offenders will be punished if they are caught.
Government has undertaken a National Solar Street Light project to complement its ongoing efforts at improving the island’s road network.
“In the last 3 weeks we have seen 34 light fixtures being damaged and it is by human intervention,” he said while speaking to State-Owned DBS Radio. “ My thinking is that these actions are not necessarily from the less educated, but it’s likely people who know well, who are intelligent enough to understand the value of the battery packs, the charge controllers, the solar panels and so on, and to probably profit from that.”
According the minister, police are investigating the matter and urged the Dominican public to play their part and be on their guard.
“…This is quite concerning, it is very sad,” he remarked…“This is not the Dominica I know, the Dominica I was raised in.”
He admonished those inclined to damage the lights to be mindful of their actions and to note that there will be stern consequences if and when they are caught.
“We will continue notwithstanding, we will not be disheartened,” Laville stated and indicated that there are 1100 lights available which the government will continue to install.
“We have to replace those that were stolen,” he said. “Key areas, along what we call lot 2, which would be the route to the airport from Roger to Pont Cassé we have seen quite a few lights stolen from there along the E.O Leblanc Highway.”
In April, 2017, it was announced at the launch of a Low Carbon Development Project in Dominica that a U.S. $34-million solar street lights project had been approved for Dominica which would assist in reducing the impact of climate change.
It was revealed that over 4,000 solar lights would be erected and more than 2,000 of those units had been provided by the government of China.