$60 Million for Hazard Awareness and Safer Building Campaign


Some $60 million will be spent this year to improve the island’s ability to withstand natural disasters.
The funds, which will be provided by the Department for International Development (DFID), forms part of the Tropical Storm Gustav Recovery Programme and will be used to train 300 community artisans on safer building practices.
It will also go towards retrofitting 1,500 houses that were most severely damaged by Tropical Storm Gustav last year, and the funding of a public education campaign around safe housing techniques.

Director General of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), Ronald Jackson (second right), in discussion with British Deputy High Commissioner to Jamaica, Graham Glover (second left), during the official launch of the National Hazard Awareness and Safer Building Campaign at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston, on Friday (August 28). Looking on are: Project Co-ordinator, Kirk Frankson (right); and Deputy Director General, ODPEM, Richard Thompson.

Speaking Friday (August 28) at the official launch of the National Hazard Awareness and Safer Building Campaign, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston, Director General of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), Ronald Jackson, said that the project is expected to be completed by early November.
He also stated that it is the aim of the Agency, by the end of the project, to ensure that persons will be more knowledgeable about constructing houses that can withstand natural disasters.
“We are going beyond recovery. We are looking at incorporating into the recovery process resilience, the whole concept of building back better, making us stronger but, more importantly, providing self help housing initiatives with the knowledge and the skills that will allow them to make their home safer,” he said.

Director General of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), Ronald Jackson (left) in discussion with Project Coordinator, Kirk Frankson, at the official launch of the National Hazard Awareness and Safer Building Campaign at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston, on Friday (August 28).

Regarding the re-roofing, Mr. Jackson noted that the process has been completed in St. Mary, but work is still going on in Portland and St. Thomas, and the programme is moving into Kingston now.
He added that ODPEM will be using the opportunity to promote and sustain the transfer of knowledge, information and awareness about the effects of adverse disasters and what can be done at all levels to making one resilient.
British Deputy High Commissioner to Jamaica, Graham Glover, expressed hope that the programme will contribute to the island recording less damage after a natural disaster.
“The aim of all this is to ensure that when a storm hits, the damage and displacement (will be) kept to a minimum. Recovery then becomes less painful and less costly, and vulnerable people can better put their already limited resources to better use in education, health, proper nutrition and their more general comfort,” he said.
He added that there are ways in which people can help themselves and their communities to be better prepared for the rigours of “mother nature.”
The project offers the opportunity to build hazard resistant communities, and to demonstrate the effectiveness of incorporating risk reduction into recovery plans. It aims to reduce the level of damage experienced by Jamaicans from hurricanes and other hazards.

JIS Social