CDEMA mobilizes regional support for Members affected by Floods and Landslides – while St. Vincent & Grenadines declares Disaster Areas.
The CDEMA Executive Director Mr. Ronald Jackson will lead an eight member technical team to the impacted states of Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica on 28th and 29th December 2013 to get a first-hand understanding of the needs and to deliver relief supplies from the Sub-Regional Warehouse in Barbados and other agencies.
The Mission team will comprise representatives from the Sub-Regional Focal Point Barbados, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Regional Security System (RSS), the Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) and Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC). The Mission will visit first St. Vincent and the Grenadines, followed by Saint Lucia, on Saturday 28th December and continue to Dominica on Sunday 29th December. While in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Mission will participate in the national damage assessment meeting lead by the Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves.
The Executive Director will hold high level discussions in St Vincent and the Grenadines following the declaration of disaster areas in:
The Vermont Valley extended to Buccament Bay,
Spring Village, Rose Bank and Dark View on the Leeward Side,
O’Briens Valley, Georgetown and Spring Village, Georgetown.
The CDEMA Coordinating Unit has had a technical officer deployed in Saint Lucia since 25th December to support National Emergency Operations Centre operations, and will deploy two (2) technical officers over the next two days to St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica.
The CDEMA Coordinating Unit has been in discussion with the Sub-Regional Focal Point Barbados and the affected states regarding the priority needs. The broader CDEMA System has also been responsive to the needs of affected states. With the benevolence of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, an initial tranche of relief and response supplies and equipment has also been deployed to Saint Lucia, in accordance with needs identified. The items being delivered through this initiative include:
Water purification tablets
Equipment to clean-up flood damage including shovels and wheel barrows
Miscellaneous food items
The Executive Director of CDEMA, Mr. Ronald Jackson, and Resident Coordinator for Barbados and the OECS, Mr. Stephen O’Malley, co-chaired a meeting of the Eastern Caribbean Development Partners Group on Disaster Management (ECDPG DM) earlier today, Friday 27th December at 11:00 a.m. at UN House in Barbados. The members of the ECDPG DM reviewed the event and impacts to the affected countries, and the needs identified, and identified areas of support.
Pledges of support from the development partners that sit on the ECDPG DM include:
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)- grants to each impacted country to assist with recovery in the agricultural sector;
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)- hygiene kits for babies and adults and water purification tablets;
The Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO)- a technical support team that will be placed on stand-by to support assessment of the health sector impacts. PAHO can also support the countries in preventing the spread of vector-borne diseases, particularly chikungunya and malaria;
CDEMA Coordination Unit (CU) – three (3) officers deployed to each impacted state to provide “on-the-ground” technical assistance in NEOC management and coordination.
The CDEMA CU continues to function as a critical point of information dissemination, providing briefs on the event to the CARICOM Secretary General, CDEMA Participating States and partners and continues to facilitate the coordination of relief efforts as required. Engineering technical support remains on standby, through the University of the West Indies, to be available to the affected states on request. The CDEMA Coordinating Unit (CU) is also coordinating closely with the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) to address health-related issues in Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
The CDEMA Regional Response Mechanism has been activated to provide a Level II response. A Level II event does not overwhelm a country’s capacity to respond but the affected state may require some external assistance. National Emergency Operation Centres (NEOC) have been activated in the impacted states and are continuing to assess the damage and the needs and to coordinated the response, relief and early recovery efforts.