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St. John, Antigua, February 18th, 2016 (NODS) - Antigua and Barbuda and Japan have signed an agreement that will result in the country’s disaster management programme benefiting from a 10 million Yen grant aid.

Several items to include a Land Search and Rescue vehicle, storage for Disaster Response Equipment, multi-sensor weather stations, megaphones and Personal Protective Equipment will be distributed to the District Disaster Coordinators, the Antigua and Barbuda Fire Department, the Met Office and the Ministry of Education.

The agreement was signed Wednesday during a ceremony at the Prime Minister’s Office between Director of the National Office of Disaster Services (NODS) Philmore Mullin and Second Secretary at the Embassy of Japan in Trinidad and Tobago Takafumi Ura.

According to Mullin, the shipment of supplies should begin arriving in the next 6-8 months. Mullin says the assistance by Japan was as a result of a discussion held over a year ago between the country’s leader and Japan’s Prime Minister.

Minister of Social Transformation and Human Resource Development with responsibility for disaster management Samantha Marshall says Japan continues to be a good friend of Antigua and Barbuda. “The value of this equipment is within the region of ten million and indeed that is a very good gift to us. We look forward to these gifts coming to fruition in a very short period of time for the benefit of the people of Antigua and Barbuda”.

Also present were Director of the Met Office Keithley Meade, Chief Fire Officer Assistant Commissioner Elvis Weaver and Chairperson of the District Disaster Committee Jennifer Murray.

Meade says the weather stations will help the Met Office gather as much rainfall data from additional points around the island. According to Weaver, with the Personal Protective Equipment, the Fire Department will be able to respond efficiently to any incident associated with hazardous materials. Murray says the storage facilities will ensure that disaster management supplies are within the reach of the various communities.

 

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