Will Dominca reach its goal?

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.


By Abiyomhi Joseph

All the articles describe and illustrate accurately the effect and damaged caused by Climate Change; the one which I will focus on is one of those which expound on hurricane Maria. This was important as it gave us a present-day example; this hurricane gave us (Dominicans) and the entire world a rude awakening. Maria is a prime example that climate change is real and apparent in every way possible, causing pain and damage in all possible ways.  The emotional damage especially, caused by viewing a site which once comforted you become completely foreign to you. The complete and utter ease in which Maria destroyed, dismantled and broke our country both demographically and geographically must and will for sure have an effect on not only how we react to Climate Change but capture the attention of the superpowers worldwide.

Let us describe “This Tiny Country Says it can Beat Climate Change’ by Christopher Flavelle. As many may ask, is it really possible to become completely climate resilient or is it possible to be climate resilient in an ever changing climate? There are no clear cut answers to these questions but it is factual that as climate is changing we must have a positive effect, we must try our best to adapt and be innovative when it comes to development and growth in every way. As we see in this article Dominica has taken the initiative to become the first climate resilient country, to be the forerunner in an indeed tough but necessary race. As the article states ‘Hurricane Maria turned Dominica into a foreign-funded laboratory for storm proofing an entire nation.’, it is true that Dominica has become a laboratory as a lot of testing of: new materials, housing styles, housing structures among many other building techniques have been introduced to prepare for a changing climate.

To become Climate Resilient!

In addition, we must realize that this is not an easy task to achieve, this surely would not come without the continuous effort and investment of leaders, ‘superpowers’ all over the world. As stated in the article the management of these projects are very strenuous and eventful which create a heavy anchor on an already tough swim up for the government. It may seem that there is little to has been done but it is also true that a lot is to be done. Dominica has seen a tough 2 years after hurricane Maria, though it has been so Dominicans are known for being resilient and as we continue to be it is a lesson to all nations of the world. In adversity we must push despite how hard the fight may be, we MUST win the battle against Climate Change.

A World Without a Future

 By Melissa Santiago

 What will the end of the world look like? Is it going to be as shabby and disturbing as it is in ‘Children of Men’? Children of Men is a dystopian thriller base on the future of humanity, directed by Alfonso Cuaron: a convincing realization of London in the year 2027 in which terrorist bombs have become a norm.

     Children of Men has become one of my favorite Post Apocalyptic films with that depressed gray smokey color palette. The opening scene alone gives the views the perfect set up when in a crowded cafe people watch this news report about the youngest person on the planet dying. One of the main themes of this movie is hope but also what lack of hope can do to people. What if this world without children which we see in this film means a world without a future or not seeing it as a good thing.

      There are a ton of symbolism in this movie that has to do with cultural, religious, political and historical things; which come together to show us the different messages. The Background of the film is not to be overlooked either, cause it’s also narrating the story in a subtle way. There’s also a lot of artwork Easter eggs in the background, like the Pig from Pink Floyd’s album (rock band) and references to La Pieta (sculpture) throughout the film. Children of Men is one of the few films in which the Protagonist goes from Protagonist to minor character, and back again. It’s a film which you need to watch various times to truly understand the messages being shown. It’s what makes the film so great and enjoyable with great replay value. The long takes and the camera works repeatedly becoming preoccupied with what goes on in the background.

      We see a world which is not so different from our own in its’ moods, political climate, and issues. This world is a reflection of humanity as it is now. It’s fascinating how it shows how different individuals deal with the situation. Some turn to violence, some turn to religion and some just go on as if nothing wrong is happening around them. Theo standout as one of those people who is disengaged( someone who has lost all hopes on humanity). He questions the point of being rich and working towards something, it more like he believes its too late for any change at that point in time. But he doesn’t fight for a change, that’s until he finds something worth fighting for, in that case, the baby(which could symbolic hope, the future).

Tiny but mighty

By Jerelle O’Brien

Tiny but mighty

‘This Tiny Country Says It Can Beat Climate Change’

After the passage of Hurricane Maria in Dominica in September 2017, the prime minister pledges to make Dominica the first climate resilient country. In light of this, Dominica became a funded experiment; many people have donated funds in support of and to aid this cause.

In the prime minister’s interview for his plan, he basically explained where his intent was to compromise and how he intended to make the country climate resilient.

What is climate resilience?

Climate  resilience means strengthening the ability of human and non-human systems to withstand and respond to changes in the earth’s climate.

Can this really be achieved in this little island? Even with all the funding and engineering aid….

Considering the fact that with the effects of climate change and the growing threat of natural disasters, how is it possible to rebuild time and time again?

Eventually, people will feel hopelessness.

With the attempt to achieve a climate resilient nation, there should also be the highlights of the effects of climate change and the entire global population should be on board with achieving the sustainable development goals in order to ensure that everywhere can be climate resilient.

By this I mean that, the use of plastics, burning, use of non biodegradable materials should be banned worldwide…

Along with stopping the production.

What’s the use say we are building a resilient nation, yet the world is still crumbling around and what they are doing will continue to affect and have the biggest impact on the little countries who have the smallest contributions but are trying their hardest to beat climate change?

So far, a step in the right direction has been taken as of January 2019, where a ban was passed on the importation of plastics and non biodegradable Styrofoam into the country. In light of this, supermarkets, as well as restaurants have since stopped the use of these as it is in low abundance in the country. Climate change is real, it is relevant and action needs to be taken seriously not only as a country, but as a global collective.  

I believe with the proper planning, funding and support from the people in around the country, this tiny but might country can defeat climate change. The passage of that hurricane did not break so many, and our people can rebuild despite all the odds, by uniting our forces, we can achieve a climate resilient nation.

Dominica Aims To Be The World’s First Climate Resilient Country In The World- A Fantasy or Reality?

Serena Maxwell

In 2017, Hurricane Maria, a powerful category five storm devastated the tiny island of Dominica, leaving the residents in a state of despair. This catastrophic event emphasized a need for a better response to natural disasters with the growing threat posed by climate change.

In response to this disaster, the prime minister proposed the idea of making Dominica the first climate resilient nation in the world. Many have criticized this venture, as they are skeptical about the idea that such a small island could accomplish something such as climate resilience. Dominica faces a number of obstacles in implementing these climate resilience policies. Firstly , the topography of Dominica makes it extremely difficult to develop communities as well as industrial sites. In creating a climate resilient nation the settlement patterns in Dominica would have to examined and altered. Due to the mountainous nature of the island, many of the communities have been established on the coast, making them prone to flooding. In order to become climate resilient communities which are vulnerable, such as Colihaut, would have to be relocated. One of the major issues is that a large portion of land in Dominica is mountainous and thus prone to landslides.

Additionally, becoming climate resilient requires large amounts of funding. The site noted that Dominica suffered $1.3 billion in damages after the hurricane. Dominica has received financial aid from various organizations such as the World Bank, which have expressed their interest in aiding Dominica to become climate resilient. One important area of consideration is in the building codes used in Dominica. Many of the houses in Dominica are not built in accordance with building codes thus making them more susceptible to damage from natural disasters. The article , ‘This Tiny Country Says It Can Beat Climate Change,’ by Christopher Flavelle, it was sited that the building codes in Dominica are in need of a revision. The codes need to be adjusted to deal with the changing climate conditions.
Another important aspect of resilience is the ability to restore utility services. Dominica’s only electricity service provider, DOMLEC, would need to run the electrical wires underground rather than on electricity poles which are easily destroyed during a hurricane. However, the company has said that this venture would cost billions of dollars and is not a plausible project to be taken by the company.

Many individuals have noted the slow progress which had been made in this regard. Can Dominica really be climate resilient with all of the obstacle that it faces? I do not believe that Dominica has the capacity to accomplish this, due to lack of funds as well as topography.

Today, 10 Fold

By Kieron Clunes

Imagine this, a gray-scaled planet earth plagued with disease, hate, marginalization, racism and infertility. Simply take what is happening at our present day and multiply 10 fold. That, is what the film Children of Men, directed by Alfonso Cuarón, is trying to portray to us, an alternate and possible future of the human race that comes with an under-song of misery and gloom.

The film takes place in an opposite form of the modern day United Kingdom. It follows the main character through a world that has been through two decades of infertility and war which has left everywhere but the United Kingdom unhabitable due to radiation and other plagues. This led to a great influx of immigrants into the country which later turned the UK into a corrupt police state. The british army soon waged war against these helpless individuals who the state refers to as “terrorists”. Among all this turmoil, one individual was somehow able to avoid the plague of infertility that had smothered the earth. This young lady was able to give birth to a child which the main character was tasked the responsibilty of bringing to the safe arms of an organization that would protect and help the young one as she grows and develops.

Believe it or not, the events that took place in the film of focus is a large scale and intensified version of our modern day events. What is there to prove to us that the current war on illegal immigration in the united states will not develop into what was portrayed to us. What is there to prove to us that one wrong move, word or “tweet” will not initiate a nuclear war between the worlds largest super powers. Rendering the world uninhabitable due to excess radiation, mutating our biological structure, and giving rise to infertility and other diseases. How is it that we are currently living a undeveloped version of a film created 13 years ago. If we fail to control the path of our future, the exposition of our people to these type of living conditions is more than likely.

Which Side of Climate Change are You?

By Rhesa Lawrence

Climate change has been a topic which has held various debates; like if it is real or not to what action we should take. Little children are our future, they will be the ones who roam the earth after we are gone. When we abuse the Earth what kind of lives are, we leaving for them? In Environmental Biology we learn about sustainability; which is the ability to leave of our natural resources and still leave for the next generation. Betty’s testimony showed the different stances of climate change. Those that are willing to help, those that are turning a blind eye to the changes, those that are spreading the word about the effects and signs of climate change.

According to Google climate change is defined as’ a change in global or regional climate patterns.’ Today there are many campaigns going around such as one million trees project, go green and reuse reduce and recycle just to name a few. All these efforts do work when persons help out and practice but the rate at which they work and the rate at which people who do not believe in climate change are at the same rate; hence, it feels like their work is in vain.

The big men in the black suits and the little people who are ignorant to the changes; refuse to admit that climate change is real. They turn a blind eye to the changes because if they do, they are afraid of the financial changes it may cause, or how acknowledging these changes may cause to their company. On the other hand, the little people who are ignorant to these changes because they don’t think that these changes can affect them or they way they leave, but they are the ones in the most danger.

Spreading the word about climate change is a lot to take on. Emily and Mikael did a great job of sharing the photos of the signs around five boroughs. The way she explained her emotions, and how each place the signs were installed could be affect by climate change while on this scavenger hunt really had me thinking. If a well-known state like New York could be so badly by climate change how will a small island country like Dominica be affected.

Dominica is a very cultural country, and the biggest question that kept lingering was how to we preserve our heritage and culture with a rapidly changing climate. Severe  hurricanes, shorter rainy seasons and longer dry seasons what plans do we have in place to protect our history and valuable documents for our country? The archive centre is now in the process of digitizing some of the older books which are becoming harder to use due to their condition. This is just one way of  preserving our history. Let me leave this question with you. Observe your environment and your life style and then think how can I in any way possible help to lessen the impact of climate change?  No matter how minute you may thing it is a little push is all it takes to make the wheels turn.


By Dinelle Dailey

The Haitian Revolution, Saint Domingue as once upon a time, the richest colony in the French Empire, and the Grain Dispute of 1789 may or may not be subjects one may be familiar with after taking a Caribbean History course. During this period, Saint Domingue, now known as Haiti was going through a period of gaining their independence from their mother country, France. During this period a Grain Dispute arose, whereby the colonials believed that they were being robbed of their supply of flour from merchants.

A COLONY IN CRISIS: THE SAINT-DOMINGUE GRAIN SHORTAGE OF 1789  is the great title posed from this Digital Humanities site. Considering the period Saint Domingue enduring, How were the people of St.Domingue able to deal with the grain shortage of 1789?

The answers lie in over twelve(12) curated, well organized, English translated pamphlets identified as “The Translations” that speak on the lifestyle and conditions of not only the slaves but that also of the planters themselves. Additionally, the reaction of the French nationals to this remarkable historic moment was recorded.

The student-friendly site uses narratives to present forth the information gathered to viewers. Furthermore, it is arranged in a specific order giving any reader, on the first page, the privilege of having a brief understanding of what this project is about and what it aims to do. Another page is made available giving a more precise and comprehensive understanding of the curated data and the goals the creators aim to reach with this site. To make the main source of information accessible and at least slightly easier for both French and English speaking to understand,  the pamphlets are available in both French and English translations to follow. These are arranged in three(3) issues based on topic, with a few introductory paragraphs based on what the pamphlet entails. Issue 1.0 focuses mainly on the rapport between the Deputies of Saint-Domingue with French officials in France or Saint-Domingue. Issue 2.0 focuses on issues surrounding 1789 Saint-Domingue. Issue 3.0 focuses on the kind of knowledge about life under slavery that can be gleaned from the colonial archive.

The Digital Humanities site also provides recording audio of Issue 1.0 in Kreyòl version taking into consideration the Kreyòl speaking viewers. Furthermore, a “Background Notes” tab entailing information about the nature of other sectors of Saint Domingue during the historic period is made available finally, The site provides a tab of ‘Acknowledgements’ to those who contributed to the incredible resource that is now available. Conclusively, although that site is well organized, a Kreyòl version of all three(3) issues should be made available instead of just one. The headings of the various tabs should be capitalized with a different home picture. That is a picture that is warm but also gives an idea or understanding of what the site itself is about. Additionally, changing the structure/ format of the site would make the site a little more appealing as one of the aims is strictly targeted to students themselves.

How Resilient Are You?

By Alina Esprit

Almost two years ago, Dominicans witnessed the effects of climate change firsthand. Hurricane Maria left this island nation in complete devastation. Just a few months away from the hurricane’s two year anniversary, how much progress have we actually made? What is being implemented to ensure that this extent of damage doesn’t occur a second time? Have Dominicans healed from this traumatic experience?  

Since the passing of Maria, Dominica has made progress in getting back where we were at before the hurricane. But, have we gotten better? There are a lot of changes to be made before we can consider ourselves a climate resilient nation. This also makes me wonder if we are biting off more than we can chew by trying to pull this off. Dominica has certainly caught the attention of many international donors and continues to receive foreign aid. But, is this enough to cover the total cost of our climate resilient venture?

The more pressing parts of this project, besides funding, are updating and enforcing building codes. About half of the island’s buildings were either severely damaged or destroyed. This is because builders and homeowners often ignore the building codes and resort to cheaper methods and materials. But is a bargain more important than safety? As responsible adults, our top priority should be ensuring the safety of ourselves and our families.

Apart from repairing the damage done to our country, what else have we done? Have we even thought about repairing ourselves after this experience? Too many times in Afro-Caribbean culture, we cover up our emotions by pressing on and keeping ourselves occupied. It’s time we stop placing a bandaid over a bullet wound and learn to face our emotional issues head on. We need to understand that mental trauma is just as important as physical trauma. Climate resilience isn’t only measured by the strength of our buildings but also the strength of our people.

Building Resilient in Dominica

By Alaina Mathew

Dominica to other countries is seen as a tiny, underdeveloped and helpless island in which much feel pity. On September 18th, 2017, hurricane Maria devastated the island and set it back tremendously. Shortly after the hurricane, the Prime Minister of the Country; Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit declared that Dominica would be the first Climate resilient country in the world. Many questioned this and it has been debated island-wide for quite some time. This rose attention from other countries and organizations and many were on board with the idea, but is it possible for this idea to become a reality?

A small island like Dominica, with a population of about 75 000 And low GDP, Is it possible for this island to easily become climate resilient? Rebuilding takes time, Yes, but it has been a year and a half since the Hurricane and there are still communities without internet access and many houses remain without roofs and abandoned. Some communities do not have electricity and water comes and goes on a regular basis. Our economy still will not permit us to make this change as the process is very expensive. Yes we are still suffering the effects of the hurricane and Rome wasn’t built in a day; however, I don’t see how it is possible for us to become ‘climate resilient’ any time soon, especially with the little progress we have made so far.

The steps taken to become climate resilient, is not only for the government, but the people need to help in this process as well. In Christopher Flavelle’s essay on the topic, he spoke of the obstacles to this change to climate resiliency. One of these was the building code in Dominica which most people ignored. Architects, contractor, and residents ignored this code and this is one of the reasons where so many buildings in Dominica were so badly damaged or destroyed. Another obstacle to change outlined was aesthetic. Though Domincan’s knew having a concrete roof was safer, many turned a blind eye to it as they felt it was unattractive and chose the galvanize roof instead. We do not yet have what it takes to become climate resilient.

In Dr. Esprit’s essay, “Resistant Narratives in the Age of Disaster: The Example of Dominica” she highlights dealing with trauma post Hurricane Maria. We cannot hope to become climate resilient if we don’t work on educating people and helping them deal with the trauma caused by the hurricane. Even after a year since the disaster, there are many who are still terrified when the rain falls, many people who cannot sleep at night or are unable to cope with the stress from the hurricane. Are we so focused on this climate resilience that we cannot see that we need to care for our people first? Don’t get me wrong, it is important that we rebuild our home. Not just for ourselves but for our economy, however there, we need to focus on the now. And how to prepare ourselves for upcoming hurricanes other than being climate resilient. In the closing line of her essay Dr. Esprit says “Maybe I’m thinking too far ahead. Maybe the Prime Minister is, too.” I cannot help but think that this is true. Maybe we are thinking too far ahead with this idea of Climate resilience. This is a process that will indeed take time, but we’re in a rush to make it happen. In this search for climate resiliency, the essence of Dominica, the nature isle of the WORLD will be lost. Are we ready for this change? We always complain that our country is less developed than probably every other island/ country, but to what cause to we want to be developed? Are we ready to slowly give up our brand? and what we love about our little island?