The Ministry of Public Works and Digital Economy has been given the mandate for the administration and implementation of the physical and digital infrastructure and management of Dominica’s abundant water resource.
Government is ever-mindful of the critical importance of road infrastructure to the country’s future economic growth and its capacity to attract private investment, and to the wellbeing and quality of life of residents and visitors. Therefore, considerable improvements have been made to the road network in Dominica over the past 10 years consistent to Government’s policy to continue to improve the quality of the stock of roads as articulated in the National Roads Policy which has the objectives of:
- Providing an accessible road network
- Getting the road network into good condition
- Maintaining the road network in good condition
Nevertheless, despite the efforts made thus far in developing the road infrastructure, Dominica’s terrain coupled with the negative effects of climate change (Tropical Storm Ophelia (2012), December 24, 2013 Trough System, Tropical Storm Erika (August 2015) and Hurricane Maria (September 2017)) has caused significant setbacks in accomplishing the 10 Year Road Sector Plan.
The revised Road Sector Plan has targeted 50% of the road network to be in good condition by end 2020 and 80% by the end of 2025. It is an element of the policy that the road network will reach all villages around the island, will include pedestrian access, and where justifiable will also include alternative access. The goals of the Road Sector Plan are:
- By 2020 to:
- Increase to 75% the number of main roads in good condition and
- Increase to 40% the number of secondary roads in good condition
- By 2025 to:
- Increase to 90% the number of main roads in good condition and
- Increase to 90% the number of secondary roads in good condition
To achieve the above objectives, special strategies need to be employed and roads standards needs to be revised and adapted to incorporate possible negative impact of climate change. For those approaches, careful attention must be placed on the following:
- Planning and Design;
- Location of infrastructure and realignment of roads;
- Slope stability;
- Drainage; and
- Road Maintenance.
The ministry is therefore cognizant of the role of the Physical Planning Division which is guided by the Physical Planning Act and Regulations, regarding submission and or consultation for the implementation of all construction projects.
Of equal importance are portable water systems which is extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change due to the island’s terrain and existing location. Going forward we aim to develop a water system that is environmentally sensitive, resistant and responsive.
The Ministry of Public Works and Digital Economy was given specific mandate for the development of the digital economy in Dominica, which is one of the major pillars of the Government’s vision in building a Dynamic Dominica. Technology drives activity across the world, the way people live, work, do business, obtain information, access goods and services, socialize, find romantic partners and relax (Dominica Labour Party Manifesto 2019).
With the available financing and institutional capacity, the Ministry will place emphasis on the following in this new digital thrust:
- The development of the required legislative framework;
- The development of a digital economy Policy and Strategy;
- Building a digital ecosystem to accommodate cybersecurity and digital money;
- The establishment of digital infrastructure and platforms to enable cross cutting digital services and enhance government productivity and;
- The promotion of digital skills and entrepreneurship.
The ICT Unit which forms part of the Ministry plays an integral role in the development of the Digital Economy as it is mandated to provide e-government services. This new thrust will build on the work already started by the ICT Unit and will expand and enhance the e-government services currently provided. ICT Unit will continue to play a major role in providing governments digital needs.