His Excellency, the Governor John S. Duncan, OBE chaired his final meeting of the National Disaster Management Council (NDMC) on Thursday, June 15.
The annual meeting was held at the Government’s Training Division conference room and was held to review reports and programme targets concerning the Territory’s Disaster Management (DM) programme which is implemented by eight sub-committees each targeting a different sector.
His Excellency the Governor, who is also the NDMC Chairman, noted the progress made in integrating disaster management in various sectors.
Governor Duncan said, “Overall there is good evidence that disaster management is being mainstreamed throughout the various sectors and this is leading to better coordination among agencies and therefore more effective use of resources”.
He said over the past three years he has seen the potential of the Council (NDMC) in moving the disaster management agenda forward in a productive and efficient way.
The Governor also made mention of one of the major disaster management accomplishments achieved during his tenure in the Territory and encouraged the implementation of key legislation to maintain the standards.
“The fact that we have been able to gain international accreditation for the programme is evidence that we have managed to develop something that is meeting quality standards”, he said.Adding, “The task ahead will be to ensure that we are able to maintain this. The enactment of the new disaster management legislation and its supporting regulations is key to ensuring that our accreditation remains intact and that in 2020 we can meet the re-accreditation requirements”.
Meanwhile, Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE, in his capacity as Deputy Chairman of the NDMC,outlined the importance of integrating disaster management across the sectors with particular emphasis on the planning and development sector.
The Honorable Premier said there is a concentrated effort to reduce hazard impacts with the implementation of infrastructural projects which will help with mitigation.
“Projects such as the Road Town Flood Risk and Hydrology Study and the Cane Garden Bay Revetment Project have disaster risk reduction and mitigation as cross cutting themes and this theme is constantly being integrated into our development plans”, he said.
The Premier added, “This integration is critical because through experiences we have learnt that disaster management principles must be intertwined in our development efforts for them to be sustainable”.
Other highlights from the meeting included the ‘Statement of Preparedness for the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season’ delivered by the Director of the Department of Disaster Management (DDM), Sharleen DaBreo and a presentation on the ‘National Physical Development Plan & Linkages to other National Development Projects’ by Chief Planner in the Town and Country Planning (TCP) Department, Gregory Adams.
The NDMC is the body mandated to provide oversight of the Territory’s disaster management programme and is made up of the following sub-committees: ‘Energy, Environment and Climate Adaptation’; ‘Health, Welfare and Social Services’; ‘Disaster Emergency Fund’; ‘Public Information and Awareness’; ‘Governance, Public Service and Sister Islands Coordination’; ‘Education and Information Management’; ‘Finance, Planning and Economic Development’; and ‘Transportation, Infrastructure, Early Warning and Emergency Communications’.