August 10, 20101362Views

Tuesday, August 10 The Anegada community has been selected as a pilot for community interventions under the Disaster Risks Management Sub-regional Programme being funded by the European Union and executed by CDEMA.

This project, referred to as the African Caribbean Pacific European Union (ACP EU) project, is geared towards enhancing the human safety level of populations and reducing the social, economic and environmental costs of natural disasters.

Yesterday, the Department of Disaster Management welcomed Mrs. Velda Octave-Joseph, a Community Disaster Planning Specialist with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA). Mrs. Octave-Joseph will be spending the week on Anegada collecting critical data and meeting with community members and government officials. 

In a brief presentation to  DDM’s staff Mrs. Octave-Joseph said, “The initial phase of the project will include a completed draft of a vulnerability analysis and risk profile as well as an assessment of the emergency communications for the Island of Anegada.”  She further explained, “Based on the assessments, the island may qualify to receive needed emergency response equipment as well as financial support towards the implementation of a mitigation project targeting the Anegada community.”

As part of the vulnerability assessment process Mrs. Octave-Joseph will capture environmental economic and social data that exists for the island of Anegada and it’s inhabitants, and will assess these against the various natural and man-made hazards and any development activities that may impact the Anegada community.

The second phase of the 2-year project will be shortly launched and will focus on community planning.  It is expected that a community disaster plan will be developed within the pilot community which can be used as a model that can be replicated in creating plans for other communities throughout the Territory. Other outputs of the project include supporting national level plan development, enhancing capabilities within the CDEMA Sub-regional focal points, development of a toolkit for community preparedness training and development of a model evacuation policy for CDEMA Participating States.

Mrs. Octave-Joseph is a native of Saint Lucia who heads the department of Community Services for over 15 years and has an extensive background in community preparedness and development. In April of this year, she was seconded to CDEMA to work on the ACP EU project which is funded by the European Union (EU) under the Natural Hazards Facility Programme for the African, Caribbean and Pacific States.

The project falls under a disaster risk reduction programme that was developed in 2009 which seeks to ensure that human safety levels increase as the costs involved in disasters to the Caribbean region is significantly reduced.