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St. John, Antigua, October 21st, 2014 (NODS) - Officials from a number of International Agencies were recently on island carrying out an assessment for the outfitting of a Disaster Relief Warehouse on the sister island. The Plans for which, were outlined during a formal presentation at the Ministry of Social Transformation and Human Resource Development on Monday morning.

 

The Disaster Relief Warehouse is a joint venture between the U.S. Southern Command, the US SCO Eastern Caribbean and Johns Tek Incorporated.

Peter J. Moreno of Johns Tek Inc. noted “We have both short term and long term objectives. Obviously South Com built the Disaster Relief Warehouse a year or two ago and what we want to do is to outfit this thing and get it ready for actual use; train staff and do the simulation, and on the long term which we believe to be absolutely critical, is how this fits into NODS and into the CDEMA programs.”

Edward M. Jefferies also of Johns Tek Inc. detailed the actual construction and outfitting of the warehouse.

“In terms of supporting the Disaster Relief Warehouse, we’re planning to get the fabricated shelves designed and built and this will take about 90 days” and that’s with the actual construction as well as the shipping of the materials and equipment”, he noted.

Among the items that will be donated are a radio, telephone, repeater system to be placed at Boggy Peak, straddle stacker, shelving and a diesel generator.

Minister of Social Transformation and Human Resource Development the Hon. Samantha Marshall says that this project comes at an opportune time, particularly on the heels of Tropical Storm Gonzalo which hit the twin island state on Monday crippling the communication systems both here on the mainland and on Barbuda.

“We want to make sure that we’re not lacking again, and where there has been complacency in the past that we’re able to deal with that. It (Gonzalo) has taught us a lesson, and we know for sure that we cannot afford not to be in communication with our sister island during a storm or any other crisis”.

Also in attendance at the briefing was Minister of Barbuda Affairs the Hon. Arthur Nibbs.

While on island the team, accompanied by technicians from the Ministry of Telecommunications; visited Mount Obama, the site for the Repeater System and also the sister island of Barbuda.

Some twenty persons will be trained to man the operations of the Warehouse which is expected be completed by February 2015.

 

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