Dominica Hurricane Relief
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Program Summary

On September 18, 2017, the worst natural disaster in the history of Dominica ravaged this small island nation. With wind gales as strong as 160 mph, Hurricane Maria tore through the country, damaging 90% of all structures and knocking out all power, water and telecommunications. Sadly, 31 individuals lost their lives through this devastating disaster whilst a further 3,000 individuals were displaced. Our team is now stepping in to help with the island’s greatest recovery needs – getting children back to school and roofs back on homes.

We are currently rebuilding the Paix Bouche Primary School and Paix Bouche Pre-school. The school provides education for four communities and has been consistently recognized for significantly impacting national development over the last 50 years. All Hands and Hearts – Smart Response is currently working to retrofit the entire school with disaster resilient features. When complete, the new school will provide a safe for students. As the school is being rebuilt with a disaster resilient design, allowing it to withstand category 5 hurricanes, it will be able to serve as a hurricane evacuation center for community members. We are also rebuilding Paix Bouche Pre-school, to allow even more children to return to a safe and disaster-resilient learning environment. Realising the immense need that still exists on the island, our teams will soon begin work on another Dominican school, the Morne Prosper School.

In response to the housing crisis in Dominica, work has now begun to help repair and rebuild many of the roofs that were destroyed during the devastating 2017 hurricanes. The project will initially focus in the small coastal town of Calibishie. As the 2018 hurricane season has commenced, repairing roofs in a disaster-resilient way is essential in not only rebuilding communities but rebuilding hope for the future.

Featured Video

All Hands and Hearts team captured first-hands accounts from students, teachers, and community members impacted by the hurricanes.

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Schools in Progress

Program Work

Our work in Dominica has been focused on rebuilding the Paix Bouche Primary School. Due to additional needs on the islands, teams will also be working on a second Dominican school and helping to repair and rebuild roofs for homes.

Male Volunteer in Dominica

Repairing and rebuilding roofs

A new, sustainable and hurricane-resilient roof will be installed, made with durable, high-quality hardwood. The roof will be anchored with hurricane ties, and the pitch of the roof will be amended to meet the hurricane-resistant level. Roof guttering will be also be added.

Male Volunteer in Dominica

Repairing and rebuilding roofs

A new, sustainable and hurricane-resilient roof will be installed, made with durable, high-quality hardwood. The roof will be anchored with hurricane ties, and the pitch of the roof will be amended to meet the hurricane-resistant level. Roof guttering will be also be added.

Retrofitting schools

Upon evaluating the Paix Bouche Pre-school, we discovered that the walls were built without structural reinforcements. Since Dominica is at high risk of earthquakes, the walls will be taken down and rebuilt to add vertical and horizontal steel reinforcements, making them more resistant to seismic activity.

Retrofit Schools in Dominica
Retrofit Schools in Dominica

Retrofitting schools

Upon evaluating the Paix Bouche Pre-school, we discovered that the walls were built without structural reinforcements. Since Dominica is at high risk of earthquakes, the walls will be taken down and rebuilt to add vertical and horizontal steel reinforcements, making them more resistant to seismic activity.

Installing Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WaSH) facilities

"Water Sanitation and Hygiene initiatives aim to improve the health of children and community members by reducing the incidence of water and sanitation-related illnesses. All Hands and Hearts has improved both the physical environment and cleanliness schools by adding facilities like hand-washing stations and toilets and also taught life skills and hygiene behaviors like tooth brushing. New toilets and sinks will be installed at the Paix Bouche school, and the restroom area will be rebuilt. Our plan will create access to restrooms from inside the school facility.

Installing Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WaSH) facilities

"Water Sanitation and Hygiene initiatives aim to improve the health of children and community members by reducing the incidence of water and sanitation-related illnesses. All Hands and Hearts has improved both the physical environment and cleanliness schools by adding facilities like hand-washing stations and toilets and also taught life skills and hygiene behaviors like tooth brushing. New toilets and sinks will be installed at the Paix Bouche school, and the restroom area will be rebuilt. Our plan will create access to restrooms from inside the school facility.

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The Nature Isle

Hurricane Maria struck Dominica, preceded by heavy rainfall and landslides which cleaved away swathes of rainforest. Our team reports on this island’s recovery.

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