One of the first beneficiaries to have her house repaired by local construction workers trained by the UN International Organization for Migration (IOM) is 31-year-old Tessa Williams, a mother of three, whose eldest child is in a wheelchair and youngest still an infant.
“With this house, we have ensured that Tessa and her children have a safe home,” said Jan-Willem Wegdam, IOM’s team leader in Dominica. “The community sees there is actually something happening and we have completed the training of our carpenters on safe construction skills,” he added.
It’s not only about having a roof over their heads but about creating the conditions for a full recovery after a huge disaster. Rebuilding houses is also helping address some of the tensions in the community resulting from prolonged stay in makeshift dwellings or living in close coexistence with relatives or friends.
The work is also having another impact: it is keeping many people from migrating to neighbouring countries in search of better opportunities after losing their homes and means of livelihood in the aftermath of the hurricane.
This is an extract from an article first published on the St Kitts and Nevis Observer.
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