Dominica: Rapid Damage Assessment of Critical Infrastructure and Support to Recovery Planning

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Context and Objectives 
In the early hours of August 27, 2015, Tropical Storm Erika passed over Dominica producing intense rainfall across the island resulting in flash flooding, landslides, and mudslides which affected most parts of the island.

This grant supported the response to a request submitted on August 28, 2015 by the Government of Dominica to:

  • Conduct a full assessment of the damage and evaluation of the economic and social impact of the disaster;
  • Provide technical assistance to the Ministry of Public Works with recovery planning and devising solutions for restoring access to isolated areas.

Main Activities

  • Just-In-Time Technical Assistance: Due to the scale of impact and the strained engineering capacity on island, the World Bank deployed a team of engineers from Haiti and Guadeloupe to provide just-in time technical assistance and advisory support to the Ministry of Public Works in assessing damages to road and bridge infrastructure as well as determining further landslide risk that may pose ongoing threats to critical infrastructure. This assistance was mobilized and provided on August 31, 2015, just 4 days after the disaster event. Funds covered the chartering of a helicopter to bring in these experts given the closure of the main airport due to flooding. The World Bank team also assisted in the compilation of consultant and contracting firms in the region by specialty and assisted in the development of reconstruction timeframes, in order to expedite the process of procurement of recovery works and activities.
  • Contracting of Engineering Expertise: An engineering consulting firm was hired (September 9 – November 30, 2015) to analyze the technical feasibility of restoring access to Petite Savanne and Delice areas which had been cut off due to landslides and slope failures. The firm also identified and classified 80 landslides and slope instabilities with detailed geotechnical analysis conducted on the major ones and provided mitigation and design options for rehabilitation.  
  • Rapid Damage and Impact Assessment: At the Government’s request, the World Bank mobilized a team to conduct a Rapid Damage and Impact Assessment. From September 7-  18, 2015 the team conducted a preliminary assessment of the damage caused by Tropical Storm Erika and estimated the related macroeconomic implications of the event. In addition to the rapid assessment, the team examined the impacts across sectors to be reflected in the medium to longer term reconstruction and recovery phases following the initial relief processes. The Rapid Damage and Impact Assessment was conducted along with 12 international and regional partners.  The report was finalized by September 25 and presented at the donor roundtable on November 16, 2015.

Additionally, the grant covered the chartering of a small plane to allow the team to enter the country via a secondary airport due to the closure of the main airport following the Tropical Storm.

Results
The Rapid Damage and Impact Assessment produced, formed the basis for the Government of Dominica to mobilize resources from development partners, begin recovery planning and source reconstruction funding. 

The Government of Dominica organized a Development Partners Conference on November 16, 2015 in Roseau based on the outcomes and recommendations outlined in the report. The conference was attended by foreign government representatives, and regional and international organizations. The OECS commission, EU, DFID, CDB, Canada, Japan, Australia, Mexico and Venezuela and the World Bank were among the participants. Many of these organizations and countries expressed their support for reconstruction of damaged infrastructure through their on-going projects and some pledged specific supports. For example, DFID pledged an indicative amount of £20 million, Venezuela provided construction materials for housing reconstruction, Mexico pledged $2.5 million for resettlement, Japan gave $ 1.7 million in form of equipment, and CDB approved a $30.8 million loan to support reconstruction.

Partnerships and Coordination
The EU, through the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency's (CDEMA) Regional Response Mechanism, was informed daily during the weeks after the disaster on the disaster response process. The Rapid Damage and Impact Assessment was shared with the EU on completion.

Useful Links

The Post Disaster Needs Assessment can be found here.

Country
Region
  • Caribbean
Priority area
  • Risk identification and assessment
Window of Action
  • Window 3
Amount approved
  • $140,268
Co-financing
  • $0
Duration
  • 09/2015 to 06/2016