JIS News

As the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) continues to offer assistance to residents living in flood prone areas of Montego Bay, a community meeting was held recently at the Rosemount Housing Scheme in St. James.
During the meeting, residents were informed about the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)-funded Flood Warning System, which targets communities surrounding the north and south gullies.
The project is being carried out with technical assistance from the Water Resources Authority (WRA) and involves the strategic positioning of rain and flood warning gauges and the training of community members to monitor the systems.
According to Director of Information and Training at the ODPEM, Nadene Newsome, the implementation of the project has been taking place over the last two years, and was now in its final stages.
She pointed out that the meeting was to garner community support for the project and to assist residents to put disaster preparedness measures in place.
“The critical thing for all community residents, regardless of whether you are in the project area or not, is that we want every citizen group to place on their agenda, some aspect of disaster management,” she stated.
She noted that, “every area in Jamaica was vulnerable to one hazard or the other, so we want to activate communities to look at their vulnerabilities, and to form a group to respond if there should be a disaster or an emergency.”
Miss Newsome expressed the hope that communities outside of the project area would call on the ODPEM to educate them about the different aspects of disaster preparedness and management. She said that the ODPEM would be staging a one-week training seminar sometime in April, for all the volunteers within the Montego Bay project area.

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