ODPEM to Review Disaster Response Plan


Prime Minister Bruce Golding has asked the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), to review the national disaster preparedness plan in order to enhance and improve the country’s prevention and response capabilities. The agency was asked to look specifically at what can be done to minimize damage and enable a more timely and effective response to disasters, in particular hurricanes.
Mr. Golding convened a meeting earlier this week, to review the status of the Hurricane Dean Recovery programme. He said much more needed to be done to reduce the length of time it takes the relevant agencies of government to bring relief to affected residents. He said any restructuring of the response mechanism should include an additional role for the Jamaica Defence Force at the front line of disaster response and recovery.
Turning to the plight of residents in severely affected communities in Clarendon and St. Catherine who were completely displaced by the passage of the hurricane, Mr. Golding said priority attention must be given to their relocation in order to prevent them from returning to what has become a danger zone. A team from the National Housing Development Corporation is leading the project which is being spearheaded jointly by the Ministry of Water and Housing and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.
In its report, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security said $226 Million has been disbursed to beneficiaries of 377 households who had their dwellings totally destroyed. Disbursement of cheques to beneficiaries of 12,816 households whose homes sustained severe damage, began on Thursday (Jan. 16), and will be sent through the mail.
Mr. Golding was joined at the meeting by Minister of Labour and Social Security, Pearnel Charles, Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sport, Olivia Grange and, Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, Shahine Robinson.

JIS Social