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Caribbean countries have been implementing various measures to control the use of water as the region experiences a prolonged drought.

From Trinidad and Tobago in the south, to Jamaica in the north, governments and the various utility companies have announced stringent measures ranging from a ban on watering lawns, to washing vehicles as a means of dealing with the low volume of water in reservoirs as a result of the reduced rainfall.

Bridgetown, Barbados, February 11, 2010 (CDEMA) - CARICOM sends a regional eight member team of health personnel to Haiti. The team of specialists from Barbados and Saint Lucia left for Haiti today to begin two weeks of voluntary service. These individuals will provide emergency and specialized health care to earthquake victims and compliment the work of teams from the Sub Regional Focal Point Jamaica.

Jamaica Defence Force soldiers on guard at the entrance to the CARICOM medical facility in Haiti.Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana, February 9, 2010 (CARICOM Secretariat) - More than 300 persons from eleven Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Member States and Associate Members have so far been involved in the response to the devastating earthquake which struck Haiti on 12 January.

The Region’s initial response was spearheaded by Jamaica, the sub-regional focal point with responsibility for the northern geographic zone of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) which includes Haiti among its five countries. CDEMA is the regional response mechanism for natural disasters.

Personnel from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, The Bahamas, Dominica, Guyana, Grenada, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the British Virgin Islands along with Jamaica form the CARICOM Contingent which has been providing support in seven areas after the initial search and rescue, medical, security and engineering teams had been supplied by Jamaica within 48 hours of the earthquake.

CARICOM’s continuing interventions in Haiti include: Emergency Response Coordination; Medical Assistance; Logistics, inclusive of the distribution of relief supplies and engineers assessments; Security; CARICOM Civilian Evacuation and Resource Mobilisation. The Region’s interventions have stretched outside of the capital to locations such as Killick, Leogane, Archaie, Montrouis, lle de la Gonave and Gonaives.

The Government of Australia signed an agreement last Friday with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) to facilitate the handing over of an initial AUS$1 million for humanitarian assistance to earthquake ravaged Haiti. This was done during a visit to the Coordinating Unit by Australian High Commissioner, Mr. Philip Kentwell where he was brought up to date on the Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM) Response effort to Haiti. His discussions with CDEMA also centered on longer term support for Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) in the region.

CDEMA Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency. Resilience Way, Lower Estate, St. Michael Tel: (246) 434-4880, Fax: (246) 271-3660
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