KINGSTON — The Government has earmarked $24.3 million for the development of a comprehensive multi-hazard disaster management plan for towns and cities under the Natural Hazard Management in Urban Coastal Areas project.
The project, which got underway in April 2008, seeks to strengthen the parish response capacity through comprehensive disaster management training, public education, and awareness; and provide technical assistance to strengthen the capabilities of the Office Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM).
As stated in the 2011/2012 Estimates of Expenditure, currently before the House of Representatives, the allocation will go towards the design and implementation of four mitigation projects for each region of the island; procuring additional emergency telecommunications equipment; and the development of the national action plan for improving integrated disaster-risk management.
Up to February 2011 the telecommunications plan for the ODPEM and other disaster response agencies were completed, so too a model coastal community-risk plan; parish emergency communication and community-risk management plans were developed; while telecommunications equipment was procured.
The Inter-American Development Bank is providing $17.4 million of the project’s budget, with $6.8 million from the Government of Jamaica.
By ALPHEA SAUNDERS, JIS Reporter