Wednesday 18 September, 2019

Jamaica deploys experts to Bahamas for disaster assessment

Minister of Local Government and Community Development, and minister responsible for the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) Desmond McKenzie.

Minister of Local Government and Community Development, and minister responsible for the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) Desmond McKenzie.

Jamaica has deployed three specialists to join the Rapid Needs Assessment Teams (RNAT) that will be assisting the Government of the Bahamas in the wake of Hurricane Dorian.

The team of specialists left the island on Thursday.

Minister of Local Government and Community Development, and minister responsible for the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) Desmond McKenzie said the team left once weather conditions in the Bahamas permitted safe access to the islands.

“After consultations with the Prime Minister and the Chief of Staff of the Jamaica Defence Force, we have sent two specialists from the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA). They are Marine Biologists Gabrielle-Jae Watson and Donavan Sankey. Manager of Safety, Environment and Quality at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PETROJAM) Leon Jarrett is also part of the team to the Bahamas.”

McKenzie explained that the Rapid Needs Assessment Teams that had been organised by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) before the Hurricane struck, recently started their work on the ground, especially in Abaco and Grand Bahama, due to the lingering passage of the Hurricane.

“Jamaica is one of CDEMA’s Sub Regional Focal Points as part of the CARICOM regional response system. We are specifically responsible for the group of countries that includes the Bahamas. Therefore the natural commitment that we would have as Caribbean siblings is simply more focused and organized, and we are doing, and will be doing everything to honour the undertakings given by the Government, to help the people of the Bahamas to recover from the experience of unprecedented devastation that Hurricane Dorian imposed on them.”

 

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