Nature is changing its colour each day, which leaves an immeasurable impact. This results in loss of life and livelihoods, disruption of services, and leaving thousands of people homeless.
As per the Reuters reports, published in 2017, nearly 14 million people are forced to leave their homes yearly because of sudden disasters such as floods and storms. The study also states that this happens mainly in South and Southeast Asia, where the number of displacement and housing loss is very high.
But disasters also have an aptitude for discovering the vulnerable in the Latin Americas and Caribbean.
Even the small and remote island of Dominica is no stranger to natural disasters, still, the nation was left shocked following the onslaughts of Tropical Storm Erika and Hurricane Maria.
According to the OCHA services and UNDP, Tropical Storm Erika caused damage and loss equivalent to around 90% of Dominica’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
At the same time, the reports of the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment claimed that Hurricane Maria caused overall damage of EC$2.51 billion (US$931 million) and losses of EC$1.03 billion (US$382 million), accounting for 226% of the 2016’s GDP.
Because of this, Dominica was left with no other option to rebuild or recover. That is why their administration took the initiative to step in and devise a mechanism independent of global community aid that could plunge the country into significant debt.
The government designed new policies in urban planning and developed integrated housing communities across the country by the necessity to rebuild significantly and the desire to adapt to climate change appropriately; consequently, the Housing Revolution Programme (Integrated Housing Development) was born.
Integrated Housing Development, funded by Dominica’s Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme and created through Public-Private Partnership, intends to deliver new, contemporary, integrated housing to low-and middle-income households.
It took more than two years to recover what was scattered, as per sources.
The Bellevue Chopin Housing Development started resettling displaced families in December 2018. The first integrated community on the island had 350 residential units, a 28-unit business complex, a health centre, a community centre and a recreational field.
Twelve more housing developments were begun in the last three years on the East Coast, West Coast, and Roseau, the capital. Approximately 2,000 dwelling units have been developed to date.
It is also estimated that this year, housing developments will also increase in Scotts Head, Eggleston, Canefield, Vieille Case, Penville, Point Michel, Woodford Hill, Paix Bouche, and Roseau Valley.
Meanwhile, a master-planned community development awaits the residents of Grand Bay in 2023. Beyond the beautifully framed homes and panoramic view of Grand Bay Ville are services and comforts, like shops, basketball court, community centre, pocket parks, recreational spaces, and gas station. It is safely secured 24/7, with the police station and fire station within the area.
The complex’s conventional design is a mix of two- and three-bedroom houses and apartments with a toilet and bath, a living room, a dining space, and a kitchen. In addition, the structure was built with reinforced concrete and stormproof windowpanes as part of measures to maintain robustness. There are also retaining walls, sewage and stormwater drainage systems, and all utility lines are buried.
The apartments are not for sale or for rental. They will be awarded to beneficiaries based on dire and social needs through a selection process. It will mainly be going to focus on single mothers.
Apart from providing climate-resilient housing, the initiative also helped establish and sustain livelihoods. Local contractors and other skilled workers were hired for the other housing developments.
The environment is changing very quickly, disaster recovery is now related to resilience and community renewal. And through the Integrated Housing Development Programme (IHDP) adopted by countries like Dominica, the integration of housing and recovery are successfully achieved – proving that there is significant potential to improve the quality of life and the socio-economic status of even the most vulnerable.