JIS News

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) will be instituting a special programme in two communities of Portland, as part of an islandwide initiative, aimed at mitigating the effects of disasters.
This initiative, which is being carried out in 28 vulnerable communities across the country, will involve the training of community members in disaster mitigation and emergency response; the development of a community emergency response plan; the building of a community emergency response team, and where possible, the development of a micro-disaster mitigation project.
The two communities selected in Portland are Swift River and Berrydale, both of which had been severely affected by various flood disasters over the years.
Funding for the initiative is being provided by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
In addition to its training, emergency response and micro-disaster mitigation project development component, the initiative will also involve placing community planning and response groups into local parish disaster committees, either by direct or zonal representation, and the advancing of advocacy, leadership and knowledge transfer in disaster mitigation and emergency response in their respective parishes.
Speaking at a sensitisation meeting for the initiative, held at the council chamber of the Portland Parish Council on August 28, Co-ordinator of the project, Mrs. Joan O’Gilvie, said its implementation is of critical importance in the disaster prevention and mitigation effort.
The Co-ordinator noted that the training of community members would be done through the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), adding that among the training outcomes would be well trained and established community disaster response teams; a well developed community disaster plan, with disaster partners and authorities involved in the plan; and the development of community partnerships with parish disaster committees and the relevant agencies and organisations.

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