Dominica’s Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, has warned that the Caribbean will see more frequent and ferocious storms in the future.
He was addressing the 43rd annual general meeting of the Saint Lucia Insurance Council here last week.
Skerrit told the insurers that the effects of climate change will be here for a very long time.
The Dominica Prime Minister observed that although countries like his and Saint Lucia contribute very little to greenhouse gases, they bear the brunt of the effects.
Dominica was ravaged by hurricane Maria last year.
Noting the impact on the country’s economy, Skerrit asserted that the response cannot be funded only from local resources.
He declared that those who contribute most to climate change must help to pay the bill.
Skerrit also stated that the region must be better prepared.
“It is the question of what can we do to lessen the impact of the various climatic events,” he told insurers.
He revealed that among the actions taken by Dominica was the revision of the Island’s building codes and taking step to ensure that they are adhered to by all.
“We have sought to stipulate and promote the use of better quality building materials,” Skerrit stated.
“We have examined our bridges and roads and determined that we need to improve the structures,” the Dominica PM said.
However he noted that such measures come at a ‘significantly greater cost.’
Nevertheless, Skerrit said Dominica does not have a choice.
“To do otherwise would result in a constant cycle of destruction and repair with no benefit to our people,” he explained.
He also spoke of the role of insurance, asserting that there are serious challenges to be surmounted if insurance is to play a pivotal role in the recovery process.
Skerrit declared that the Saint Lucia Insurance Council must be part of the solution.