Anguilla’s Governor briefed on activities of Disaster Risk Management Sub-Regional Programme

The Valley, Anguilla, September 10 2010 - (CDEMA) – A CDEMA technical team paid a courtesy call on Anguilla’s Governor, H.E. Alistair Harrison and the Deputy Governor, Mr. Stanley E. Reid on Thursday, September 9, 2010.  The team accompanied by Director and Deputy Director of the Department of Disaster Management briefed the Governor and Deputy Governor  on the activities of the  Disaster Risk Management Sub-regional Programme being funded by the ACP-EU.

This € 1.8 million programme is intended to improve the capacity of CDEMA Participating States in national disaster planning and to have better prepared and more disaster resilient communities.

CDEMA’s Technical team is currently on a one week Mission to Anguilla and is working along with the Department of Disaster Management on the review the National Disaster Plan of the Anguilla and assessment of emergency communications systems of Island Harbour and East End communities. The team is also gathering information for the development of risk profiles for these communities.

The Governor remarked that although the team is visiting at a difficult time due to the recent passage of Hurricane Earl, it also presented an excellent opportunity for key personnel to discuss Disaster Management needs and evolution in Anguilla as the event was still fresh in their minds.

Brigadier General (R’td) Earl Arthurs, Contingency Planning Specialist and Miss Sarah Lionel, Senior Programme Officer, of the CDEMA Technical Team, are conducting an assessment of the DDM infrastructure, equipment and staffing and performing a preliminary review of the current Disaster Plan.  They have been consulting with Director of DDM, Mrs. Elizabeth Klute, Deputy Director, Ms. Melissa Meade and other members of staff. The team has also been meeting with key national emergency sub-committee and working group members to identify priority needs and assess how well their roles and responsibilities fit in the disaster response structure.

Ms Lionel  said , “The Plan review and revision will not only identify gaps in a country’s national disaster plan which CDEMA can assist the Disaster Office in filling but will also identify best practices which can be replicated in other CDEMA states.”

The other members of the Technical Team, Ms. Velda Joseph, CDEMA’s Community Disaster Specialist and Ms. Simone Mondesir joined Mr. Jerry Dice of DDM and residents of the Island Harbour and East End communities to assess their vulnerabilities to various hazards and to develop risk profiles for these communities.  As part of this process, community discussions focused on required measures for reducing disaster risks in these communities,  highlighting critical areas of community input in that regard. The activity included a transect walk of each community, gathering of primary and secondary data, community meetings, and meeting with partners including Red Cross and fishermen.

In commenting on the activities carried out in the communities, Ms Joseph said, “Collaboration within the community is critical and needs to be sustained when the technical assistance team is not available as ownership of results must reside within the community.”

An assessment was also conducted of the emergency communications systems (resources and infrastructure) of the aforementioned communities.

The team will return to Anguilla to continue work on the two components before the end of the year.

For more information, please contact:
Ms Andria Grosvenor,
Technical Manager, Preparedness and Country Support
Caribbean Disaster Management Agency (CDEMA)
Bldg #1, Manor Lodge Complex
Lodge Hill, St. Michael, Barbados

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