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The BVI is said to be performing very well across the majority of the sectors, and its performance is exceedingly high in the area of recovery and response.
This was disclosed by Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) Consultant for the United Nations (UN) Dr. Rose-Ann Smith. Dr. Smith is auditing the Territory’s Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme to determine whether it meets the standards established by the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and other regional and global frameworks.
The consultant visited the British Virgin Islands last week to make final assessments and verify information from a number of sectors in the areas of mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. Her initial assessment has revealed that the BVI has done well in most of the key phases.
She stated, “It is clear that a significant amount of effort has been paid to improving the disaster recovery elements following the impacts from 2017. However, the weakest area lies within Mitigation where greater attention should be given to the non-structural and structural elements, more specifically enforcement of land use planning laws, provision of incentives and development of stronger building standards.”
The assessment is being financed by the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction and is being conducted using the audit tool that was developed by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) to assess the capacity of the Caribbean region.
The CDM Audit Tool gives an overview for standards that are required for each of the six (6) key elements within a disaster management programme. These include: Governance, Education & Information, Training & Exercises, Warnings & Alerts, Finance & Administration and Community Resilience, all of which the Territory has adopted into its preparedness strategies.
Caribbean Assessment Reports provide information related to the progress, gaps and lessons learnt in CDM’s achievement process. The BVI will continue to participate in these assessments as a means of ensuring that standards are maintained as it strives to become a more resistant and resilient territory to the impacts of natural hazards. The Territory will also strive to be a lead participant of Disaster Management within the Caribbean region and worldwide.
Photo from L-R: Dr. Rose-Ann Smith (Comprehensive Disaster Management Consultant for United Nations); Dr. Evangeline Inniss-Springer (Deputy Director, DDM); Jasen Penn (Emergency Communication Manager Ag., DDM); Sheniah Armstrong (Planning and Preparedness Manager, DDM); Stacy-Ann Austin (Senior Technical Planning Manager, DDM)