By Dinelle Dailey
How will the island of Dominica, led by Honorable Roosevelt Skerrit, hold its head high while aiming to become the first climate resilient country in the world, despite ravages of Hurricane Maria of 2017? This question encompasses the general perspective the author tries to bring about in the article, “This Tiny Country Says It Can Beat Climate Change”. The author not only gives an account of the immediate tragic aftermath of Hurricane Maria but also illustrates an account of life a few months done the line.
Resilience, the keyword which summarizes the idea Honorable Roosevelt Skerrit presented when addressing the nation shortly after the hurricane was the talk of the town and approximately a year and six months later, it still is. Why does resilience summarize the idea brought across and not defines it? Resilience, according to Cambridge dictionary is defined as “the quality of being able to return quickly to a previous good condition after problems”. Does the definition of ‘resilience’ do justice to the Prime Minister’s dream for the island of Dominica? Not at all. Instead he aimed for the island, with half of its buildings destroyed, no electricity, no running water, and little to no forms of communication, to not just recover by building back what was already there, but instead, build back with a difference to make the island a force to be reckoned in preparation for the upcoming hurricane season and climate change. Building back with a difference meant for the structure of building to change, for the materials being used to be upgraded, for the financial system of the country to take a turn into a more prosperous direction, for roofs to be built in such a way that hurricane force winds would struggle to remove one roof instead of succeeding in removing five thousand roofs. With all this being said, the aim was not only to be resilient but also be the first resilient country in the world.
The only problem at that moment, how. How was an island with a population of 75,000 people, an economy based on the exportation of crops and tourism, to be the first climate resilient country of the world? According to the article, help wasn’t too far from reach as many individuals and organizations were intrigued by the level of motivation the islanders had despite being in a position where a resilient country should sound like a ridiculous idea. Bill Clinton, the World Bank, and International Monetary Fund just to name a few, were not hesitant to help this island reach to where it aimed to. Little did we know, that a few months down the line, this is exactly what was beginning to happen. Houses began building, some with concrete roofs to replace what was lost and others with safer galvanized roofs as they found the concrete roofs unattractive.
According to the article, the government was trying to help the country be better off, however, does that mean all the people were pleased? Most certainly not. That didn’t stop the Prime Minister and his government from reaching to where they wanted to be.