JIS News

The Old Harbour Disaster Management Zonal Committee has been re-launched, providing the town and adjoining districts, with an effective body to supervise its disaster management.
“This means that we have now established an interim zonal committee, where the representatives from each community will ensure that a disaster plan is in place for the various communities, especially those that are high risk,” said Parish Disaster Co-ordinator at the St. Catherine Parish Council, Patricia Lewis.
She told JIS News that having a zonal committee was very important, as it allows for better management of communities and responses to the needs of communities when they arise.
The re-launching, a collaborative effort between the Parish Council’s Parish Disaster Committee (PDC) and the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), took place on August 20 at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Darlington Drive, Old Harbour.
Miss Lewis also explained that now that the committee has been re-formed, they can commence the planning process for disaster management of the area.
“We’ll be having a meeting early September to develop plans, to identify mitigation projects and other activities,” she told JIS News.
The Parish Disaster Co-ordinator noted that plans are already in place to ensure that migration of members does not affect the new committee.
“All these factors are being examined and measures will be put in place, [in case] persons migrate. We will mobilise persons, and we would have a core of persons that we can draw on to replace those migrating, because what we are looking at is continuity,” she explained.
The committee will form part of a wider initiative to strengthen the disaster management capacity of Old Harbour Bay, under the Building Disaster Resilient Communities (BDRC) Project currently being implemented by the ODPEM. It has support funding from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTS) will also be strategically established, in targeted vulnerable areas such as Old Harbour Bay.
Miss Lewis says that if there are persons willing to become volunteers, they should contact the St. Catherine Parish Council, in Spanish Town, for more details.

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