Post Hurricane Maria - Onsite Report - Dominica - Oct 22, 2017

Some might have been inclined to think that a disaster like hurricane Maria would have ended the Pongovi project definitively, but in fact it has accelerated the timetable. This is exactly the kind of situation that the project was designed to address. Yes, we all suffered material losses, and life is definitely harder now in some ways, but the crisis has also drawn people together in a way that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. It has also made the solution we have been presenting self explanatory (see for more information). No convincing is necessary when you are talking to someone who is living through a systemic breakdown. They get it instantly.

Dominica is getting a preview of the times ahead. In a sense this is a gift. The general population now sees the need for local resilience and are motivated to move in that direction. For example the fact that electric lines are still down for the entire country (and are not going back up any time soon) creates a clear incentive to transition towards off-grid, renewable energy systems. In a country this small, transitioning the majority of homes and businesses to renewables is an attainable goal.

We finally got electricity up in our eastern position by using the inverter from the other property. The plan in the eastern position is to convert a building that used to serve as guest accommodations into a shared space for families to return to. We still have to quite a bit of mud and debris to clear to get conditions safe for kids, and multiple structures to repair or rebuild. Approximately 20 volunteers (including several builders) will be arriving in November to help.