Three Dominica Nationals and 14 Haitians thought to be illegal immigrants on board a sailing vessel were detained by the St Maarten Police Force KPSM on Thursday (October 3) afternoon on suspicion of human trafficking.
According to reports from the Daily Herald St Maarten, a white and blue sailboat flying a tattered Dominica flag, docked at the pier in the vicinity of Walter Plantz Square in Philipsburg around 2:45pm Thursday when a person in the area notified authorities because they thought this occurrence to be strange, as boats rarely dock there.
The report said the sailboat originated out of Dominica having departed a few days ago.
The news article stated that after conducting a control, authorities discovered 17 persons on board the vessel.
“The crew could not give a good reason for docking in St Maarten without first clearing customs and immigration”, according to the Daily Herald.
It is unknown whether St Maarten was its intended destination or the vessel was instead compelled to dock there due to other circumstances.
Reports stated also that no drugs were found on the boat.
Both crew and passengers were taken to the Philipsburg police station for questioning. The Daily Herald understands that 14 passengers are not suspected of criminal offences and are being detained for processing by immigration.
The sailboat has also been confiscated, pending further investigations.
Police Human Smuggling Team together with the Immigration Department are busy with the investigations.
DPSU not satisfied with pace of salary negotiations; meets members next week
1 hour ago
November 14, 2019
The Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU) says it not satisfied with the pace at which salary negotiation with the government is taking place and has scheduled a salary negotiation briefing rally with its members for Tuesday 19, November 2019.
The union’s Executive will first meet this Thursday to discuss the status of salary negotiations with the Government of Dominica for the triennium 2018— 2021.
After having met five times with the Government Negotiating Team, the DPSU is of the view that by now a reasonable offer should have been made by the Government.
For the year 2018/ 2019, the DPSU is proposing a one-off payment equivalent to two (2) months salary or alternatively 2.5%, 2019/2020 5% and for 2020/2021 5%. In addition, it is negotiating for an increase in allowance concession on import duties on vehicles for nurses and increase in pension to retirees who qualify for Government pension.
Public Works Corporation employees have not received an increase for about a decade while there is tardiness on the part of Management of both DASPA and Solid Waste Corporation in bringing negotiations to a conclusion.
Tuesday’s meeting will decide how solidarity can be solidified among public officers and employees from the above-mentioned institutions to decide the way forward in regards to salary negotiations.
Project to strengthen disaster management capacity of Dominican and Guyanese women launched
13 hours ago
November 14, 2019
A project aimed at strengthening the disaster management capacity of women in Guyana and Dominica was launched on 11th November 2019 at Fort Young Hotel.
The project, entitled “Strengthening Disaster Management Capacity of Women in the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and the Commonwealth of Dominica” is funded by the Government of Japan and is being implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Barbados & OECS Office.
It will benefit small farmers, women’s groups and other vulnerable persons in agriculture located in three parishes across Dominica specifically, St. David, St. Paul and St. Patrick.
Dominica’s vulnerability to the shocks of climate change post-Hurricane Maria is more greatly understood by international counterparts.
In his address, Mr. KanayaToshihide, second Secretary in the Japanese Embassy in Trinidad and Tobago noted that Japan’s commitment to support Dominica is based on the appreciation of the impact of natural hazards; as an island themselves, they are annually affected by typhoons, earthquakes and other natural phenomena. Japan has a long history of extending developing support to the Commonwealth of Dominica across various sectors to include fisheries and agriculture. He expressed his enthusiasm for the project and expects a successful implementation through the UNDP.
“This project supports small farmers and women’s groups. It connects with other work of UNDP in Dominica on Early Warning Systems, Community Emergency Response Teams, as well as post-disaster needs and building damage assessments. The initiative will also support the recovery to resilience programme on the island which the UNDP Dominica Office is implementing,” said Mr. Magdy Martinez-Soliman, Resident Representative, Head of UNDP Barbados and the OECS. Additionally,
Mr. Martinez-Soliman further stated that the project contributes to the advancement of four (4) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) namely: SDG2 (Zero Hunger), SDG 5 (Gender Equality), SDG11(Sustainable Cities) and SDG 13(Climate Action).
In his brief remarks, Minister Isaac, pledged the commitment of the Ministry of Environment, Climate Resilience, Disaster Management and Urban Renewal to support the implementation of the project initiative given that one of the main components of the project focuses on Early Warning Systems. The Minster in his speech acknowledged the importance of the role of the Office of Disaster Management and the MET Office and expressed enthusiasm for the opportunity to develop capacities in these areas to better serve and support an initiative that will further strengthen national resilience.
The Permanent Secretary Dr. Reginald Thomas, representing the Minister, expressed gratitude to both the Government of Japan and the UNDP for the initiative which, “fits into the Ministry’s plans and programs to build resilience, in keeping with the Government’s desire to be the first climate-resilient country in the world”.
Dr. Thomas further emphasized that the impact of climate change on the agriculture sector cannot be underestimated particularly given its far-reaching consequence in terms of food security and livelihood for the island.
“Rural communities are, therefore, in the forefront to battle the impacts and contribute to food security,” Dr. Thomas noted.
During the ceremony, the Second Secretary of the Embassy of Japan and the Resident Representative of the UNDP Barbados and the OECS presented tablets to the Government of Dominica to support the work of the Agriculture Extension staff.
The project launch coincides with the commencement of a Participatory Integrated Climate Services for Agriculture (PICSA) scoping mission to conclude on 15th November 2019. The PICSA initiative is spearheaded by the University of Reading and supported by the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology.