As the island of Dominica continues to rebuild following Tropical Storm Erika almost four months ago, Canadians are being invited to invest in reconstruction of the three hardest hit sectors, agriculture, infrastructure and housing.
Erika dumped 15 inches of rain on the mountainous island. Floods swamped villages, destroyed homes and wiped out roads. Some communities were not recognizable.
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has said it will take about 20 years to rebuild and estimated the loss of about half a million U.S. dollars.
Dominica Trade and Investment Commissioner in Canada Frances Del Sol told a gathering of Caribbean Diaspora in Toronto last Monday that 95% of the roads have been rebuilt but some areas remain inaccessible. Del Sol was speaking at the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Caribbean Week Canada, a series of events this week to promote tourism in the Islands.
Sixty per cent of the island’s infrastructure has been lost, along with 30% of the agriculture and 10 per cent of housing, she said.
“The island is opened for business. The island is open for tourists to come in and more so, the island is open for investment,” Del Sol said.
“No island is ripe for investment like Dominica is today.”
Del Sol said there are several investment opportunities in small businesses such as soap making and in the first nations reserve in areas of basket making and basket weaving.
She added that she is in the process of soliciting support for small business investments with as little as $1,000.
Meanwhile, the island has been ranked number three for Best Caribbean Destination for Adventure in USA Today’s 10Best Reader’s Choice Awards.
Readers of 10Best.com and USA Today were asked to vote for the best in select travel and leisure related categories ranging from food, lodging, destinations, travel, gear and things to do.
10Best.com travel experts selected the top 20 nominees and readers voted for the top 10 finalists. Voting took place over a three week period ended Nov. 9.
Director of Tourism Colin Piper said, “This is a great accolade for Dominica as it raises awareness of the destination and what is has to offer to a wide audience of potential visitors.”
Del Sol can be reached at Frances.firstname.lastname@example.org. The website is www.investdominica.com