JIS News

Executive Director of the Social Development Commission (SDC) and Chairman of the Local Government Task Force, Robert Bryan has suggested that community organisations in St. Catherine work with the SDC to develop disaster preparedness plans.
“We need to deepen and strengthen the processes and efforts to ensure that each of the 49 communities in St. Catherine develops a plan of action, which is able to respond to and prepare for disasters. Disaster preparedness cannot be done only by external agencies, which are activated when there are disasters, Mr. Bryan stated.
He was speaking at a disaster relief consultation meeting held on September 28 at the SDC’s Spanish Town Office. The meeting was held to inform community leaders and citizens about the recovery efforts being undertaken by government agencies and organisations in the parish in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan.
Over 80 persons, including representatives from churches, civic organisations, government agencies as well as councillors from the Portmore municipality and the St. Catherine Parish Council, attended the meeting.
Mr. Bryan said that for disaster preparedness to be effective, citizens must become involved in the process, by working through their community development committees, citizens associations, development area committees and parish development committees.
He also pointed to the need for greater collaboration between external relief agencies and community groups.
“If that happens the process will be more credible, relief efforts would be far more efficient than they can be (now) and at the end of that we would have built far more credibility to the process of development and would help to convince others in the community that they too must make the sacrifice to support and develop these systems,” he added.

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