“In Hurricane Lenny I had to leave my house and run for my life. And most of the people living here by the bay had to do the same. Over the years people have lost homes. The road was damaged. Because when the sea is coming up, it is coming up like a tiger.”
SEA DEFENCE WALL, NEW ROAD, SIDEWALK, BRIDGE, PROPER DRAINAGE
Thomas Sieron has lived in Pointe Michel all his life. Now he is one of the workers building the sea wall to protect the village. “The sea defence, the road re-construction, proper drainage,” he says proudly, “that is what we’re working on for Pointe Michel. And we have the Caribbean Bank to thank.” He points to a gaping watercourse, now dry, leading through the village, cutting across the road, before spilling into the sea. “This is the ravine. It is extremely dangerous. When the heavy showers and storms pass through, big rocks and trees come down and block the street. No one could pass. Now we’re widening the ravine and building a bridge over it.”
Providing employment for the community
Lonita Nordier stands out on her verandah watching the road and the growing sea wall bustle with workers and other villagers on their way to and from Roseau, stopping in at the small shops, bars and eating establishments along the sea front where she lives.
“When I was growing up, the sea was far away. Now it’s so near to us. It has taken the land away. Further down, all there,” she points, “were houses by the sea. When I came back from my travels, about five years or so, the sea had taken them away. And they were never rebuilt. Now we are so grateful for our wall. Plenty men from the village got jobs through the construction. Things were really bad here when it came to employment. There is no manufacturing industry in the village and farming is not as it was before. So the men in the village are happy for this work, so that they can feed their children, look after their homes.”
Helping small businesses
The construction of the sea wall is also helping small businesses along the waterfront. Clement roberts, a fisherman, owns the Fishpot Bar and eating spot. “During Hurricane Lenny, the sea was coming in right here.” He points to the door of his place. “Now I feel so happy every day when I wake up and see the wall. The road is great too. We never even had a sidewalk before. Now people can walk or drive safely. Every night we crowded here. From the time the wall build, we getting plenty plenty more business. The wall is very good for me – for everybody.”