The recent series of stakeholder review workshops relating to the Gender Responsive and Socially Inclusive Road Safety Awareness Communication Strategy, held by CREAD in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Works, Public Utilities and Digital Economy is being deemed a resounding success. This historic initiative is a component of the Loubiere to Bagatelle Road and Bridge Rehabilitation Project, which is being funded by United Kingdom Caribbean Infrastructure Partnership Fund (UKCIF) and administered by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).
The workshops were facilitated by FRED Engineering and involved representatives from 25 organisations across Dominica and was held during the United Nations Global Road Safety Week. The groups converged over two days (Wednesday 17th and Thursday 18th May, 2023) at the Dominica Association for Persons with Disabilities (DAPD) to champion a safer and more inclusive road environment which is line with this year’s theme, “rethink mobility.” Discussions sought to address prevailing disparities in road safety practices, while simultaneously raising awareness about responsible road behaviours among road users to produce a Gender Responsive and Socially Inclusive Road Safety Awareness Communication Strategy that is evidence-based and informed by extensive consultation. Stakeholders overwhelmingly supported and endorsed seatbelt wearing and helmet campaigns, outreach packages for class 5 students, local council involvement in leading community-based activities and feedback mechanisms to monitor and evaluate strategy implementation.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the two-day workshop, CREAD’s CEO, Ambassador Francine Baron emphasized that a key part of resilience is ensuring that there is well-planned and durable infrastructure. She added that an Enhanced Collective Consciousness is also integral to Dominica’s road to resilience and speaks to mindsets and behaviours that underpin respect, dignity and peace among all citizens, ensuring that no one is excluded or left behind.
During his feature remarks, Honourable Fidel Grant, Minister of Public Works, Public Utilities and Digital Economy said, “The safety and well-being of our citizens remains of paramount importance to this administration as we recognize that road safety is a major issue that affects the lives of our citizens.” He continued by stating that over the past ten years, Dominica has recorded over 100 deaths due to road traffic collisions, an average of 10 lives lost per year and said, “The number of accidents, injuries and fatalities on our roads is simply unacceptable, and we are committed as a government to taking decisive action to address this issue.”
The high level of participation from the public sector, civil society organisations, community leaders, youth and individuals from marginalized communities underscored the significance of collaboration in driving meaningful change as it relates to road safety in Dominica. The discussions are expected to foster ongoing dialogue and lead to the creation of a Stakeholder Communication Strategy Working Group whose members will guide the implementation of the communications strategy.
The workshops’ outcomes set the stage for a safer, more inclusive road environment in Dominica, where road safety is the responsibility of all.
CREAD will continue to work assiduously with stakeholders to strengthen road infrastructure and achieve the mandate of building Dominica to becoming the world’s first climate resilient nation.