Wednesday, 1st June, 2011– A final local consultation was held to review and finalise the proposed Virgin Islands Disaster Management Bill and Regulations which will replace the Virgin Islands Disaster Management Act of 2003.
Following the initial Meeting for the Adaptation of the Regional Model Disaster Management Legislation and Regulations held in November 2010, the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) issued a consultancy notice resulting in acquiring the services of Mrs. Tira Greene of The Valley, Anguilla. She and her team were selected and awarded a contract by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) to steer in the adaptation of the model instrument. – A final local consultation was held to review and finalise the proposed Virgin Islands Disaster Management Bill and Regulations which will replace the Virgin Islands Disaster Management Act of 2003.
In his opening statement to the various government representatives attending the May 31 meeting held at the Treasure Isle Hotel, His Excellency the Governor Boyd McCleary said, “The adaptation process was far more intense than anticipated and, due to the fact that the model produced by CDEMA was mainly designed for statutory type organisations, it didn’t take into account some of the significant issues that we face here, such as the current arrangements related to management, the use of the national alert and warning systems, and the responsibilities for annual reporting on the work of the DDM and the review of the Territory’s critical infrastructure.” The governor also voiced his appreciation to the commitment that the DDM has displayed towards this effort.
Speaking at yesterday’s consultation Mrs. Greene said, “There are two important issues in the adaptation process for the model disaster management legislation.
The first relates to the fact that as a British Overseas Territory and a very small island, the statutory body model proposed is not suitable. The second relates to the fact that this legislation must dovetail with provisions of several other pieces of legislation; this requires considerable harmonisation effort and the preparation of relevant consequential amendments.” Mrs. Greene was assisted by Ms. Primneau Gajadhar
CDEMA Programme Officer Ms. Gayle Drakes was also present at the meeting to evaluate and to offer support. The consultant and her assistant, Ms. Gajadhar presented the revised National VI Disaster Management Bill and Regulations to the local Government stakeholders for discussion and review. These deliberations examined each aspect of the bill by scrutinising concerns and incorporating suggestions from the stakeholders.
DDM Director Ms. Sharleen Dabreo expressed her satisfaction with the work produced by the consultants to date and said that through this meeting with key stakeholders, a completed document can be finally submitted to the Cabinet through the governor. The revised bill will replace the existing Virgin Islands Disaster Management Act, 2003 and is expected to be submitted by the consultants in the next two weeks.
The local adaptation process was funded by the European Union through the Institutional Support Capacity Building for the Caribbean Project managed by the CDEMA Coordinating Unit.