Government Taking Steps to Build Disaster Resilience

Jamaica News: Minister of Local Government and Community Development, the Hon Desmond McKenzie says Government continues to take the necessary steps to strengthen the country’s disaster resilience.

Speaking at a town hall in Douglas Castle near the St. Ann/Clarendon border on Thursday (October 25), Minister McKenzie said that the Government has been proactive in its efforts to boost disaster preparedness, disaster risk management and responsiveness across the island, with a multipronged approach being taken.

“We know the communities that are vulnerable, we know the areas that we need to focus our attention on when it comes on to disaster and so the Government has been responding in many ways,” he noted.

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He said work is being done to strengthen capacity at the local level, by preparing municipal corporations to better respond to disasters.

“We have improved shelters right across the country… and we have improved our capacity to deliver relief supplies to shelters. We have trained our disaster coordinators and we have exposed them to what is necessary for survival. We have improved our technology [and] we have improved the communication network through the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPEM),” Minister McKenzie told the gathering.

He noted further that the Disaster Risk Management Act regulations are being reviewed to, among other things, address the evacuation of persons from areas deemed vulnerable.

“We are looking seriously to ensure that evacuation becomes mandatory because you know it is all good and well for people to say [they are not] moving, but at the end of the day you put the lives of (other) persons at risk,” he pointed out.


Source: JIS News

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