Dominica Emergency Agriculture Livelihoods and Climate Resilience Project (DEALCRP)
Hurricane Maria hit the island of Dominica on September 18, 2017, with catastrophic effects. Hurricane Maria made landfall as a Category 5 storm (Saffir-Simpson scale), with winds exceeding 170 miles per hour (mph). Hurricane Maria was one of the most rapidly intensifying storms in recent memory, strengthening from a Category 2 to Category 5 hurricane in less than 12 hours. According to official sources, 30 persons lost their lives and 34 persons were declared missing. The Prime Minister declared a State of Emergency on September 20, 2017.
The Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) estimated total damages at EC$2.51 billion (US$931 million) and losses of EC$1.03 billion (US$382 million), which amounts to 226 percent of 2016 GDP. The housing sector (38 percent), the transport sector (20 percent), and the education sector (7 percent) sustained most damages. The agriculture sector (33 percent), tourism (19 percent), and the transport sector (14 percent) saw the largest losses as defined by changes in economic flow. The hurricane also caused widespread damage to the power grid. Electricity services failed with at least 75 percent of the network down due to the widespread damages to transmission and distribution networks. Most of the gains from recovery efforts after Hurricane Erika (2015) have been reversed and the identified recovery needs incorporating the principle of 'building back better' are estimated at US$1.37 billion.
The agriculture and fisheries sectors were among the most affected sectors and suffered high damages and losses, severely affecting the livelihoods of the predominantly small-scale farming community. An estimated 80–100 percent of root crops, vegetables, bananas, and plantains and 90 percent of tree crops were damaged. Livestock losses are estimated to be 45 percent of cattle, 50 percent of small ruminants, 65 percent of pigs, and 90 percent of chicken stocks. Together with damages to farm buildings and equipment, the crop and livestock sectors suffered a total loss estimated at US$179.6 million. The fisheries sector was also heavily affected, where it is estimated that about 370 vessels were damaged or destroyed, as well as much of the fishing gear and engines. Overall, the situation is expected to dramatically affect crop and livestock production in 2018 and beyond, particularly vegetable, tree crop, poultry, and pork production, which would seriously threaten people's livelihoods as well as food and nutrition security. The hurricane defoliated almost all trees and totally uprooted an estimated 10 - 20 percent of tress, and severely damaged the entire infrastructure of the Forestry Department (forestry and national parks buildings, nurseries, trail infrastructure).
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