ROSEAU, Dominica — Less than a month after the terrible devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in Dominica, the streets are being cleared, utilities returning, people are going back to work and a degree of normalcy in daily lives is returning. That’s the latest report from Mohammed Asaria, co-founder of Range Developments, a company that specialises in developing luxury hotel projects in the Caribbean.
“It was shocking to see at first hand the damage caused by the hurricane,” said Asaria, vice chairman of Range Developments. “I travelled there last week to see the situation for myself. I was incredibly impressed by the fortitude of the people and the efforts the government are making to restore their country to the paradise it once was. It was heartening also to see children going back to their schools. The energy and drive amongst the country’s leadership is clear and must be applauded.”
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit is personally leading the entire relief, restoration and rebuilding efforts. He announced recently that water supply has now been restored, as have telecommunications to most areas. In the capital Roseau there are people working on every street corner, cleaners wearing masks hosing down the streets, and water tankers spraying the roads. Vehicular access has been restored in all the island’s roads.
The extent of the damage and the cost of the rebuilding will be announced shortly by independent multi-lateral agencies, but is likely to be many multiples of the country’s GDP.
“What we’re doing is to take an opportunity to build back better,” Skerrit told reporters. “And we’re now putting the master plan in place. It entails sustainable livelihoods. In respect to energy, moving more into renewables – geothermal and solar.”
Asaria also visited Range Developments’ project, The Cabrits Resort Kempinski, on the northeast of the island near Portsmouth.
“I am delighted to see how our team responded to the crisis,” Asaria said. “In the most challenging of circumstances they are already returning to work. Supplies are beginning to get through again as the roads, ports and airports have now re-opened. Dominica will rebound from this stronger and in better shape to deal with anything similar that might occur in the future.”
Range Developments is an award-winning international property developer focusing on high-end hotel resorts in the Caribbean that are well-designed, sustainable and desirable, with two other developments in the region, the Park Hyatt St Kitts, due to open on November 17, and the Ritz-Carlton Saint Lucia, announced in August this year.
The Cabrits Resort Kempinski in Dominica is the first government approved real estate project in Dominica under the country’s citizenship by investment program. A minimum investment of US$220,000 in the project will entitle investors and their families to Dominica citizenship. It is currently under construction and the most advanced of any government-approved project on the island.