The Dominica government yesterday hinted at the possibility of enacting legislation before year-end that would give authorities the right to compel the private sector to send home workers in the event of an approaching storm or other natural disasters.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit who cancelled a trip to India to return to the island to be part of the team preparing for the passage of tropical storm Isaac, also announced that schools and the public sector workers would remain home today.

“We would like the private sector to do the same and this is why going forward we have to implement legislation that would authorise the NEPO (National Emergency Planning Organisation), that when a decision is taken with regards to work, it would apply to every employee in the country and these are the things we intend to do in terms of disaster management going forward,” Skerrit said, adding that he hopes to have the legislation debated in the Parliament by December.

Dominica is still recovering from the battering it took last September when Hurricane Maria, a Category 5 storm slammed into the island, killing more than 30 people and leaving a trail of destruction estimated at millions of dollars.

Skerrit said while the latest weather bulletin indicates that Isaac is now a tropical storm, he was reminding citizens that in 2015, tropical storm Erika killed at least 20 people, caused floods and mudslides that have set the country back 20 years.

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