Gov’t Committed to Making Jamaica Disaster Resilient – Minister Mckenzie

Local Government and Community Development Minister, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, says that the Government of Jamaica is committed to creating the infrastructure for a disaster-resilient country.

The Minister, who was speaking at the recent launch of the 2018 National Hurricane Preparedness Campaign at the Office of the Prime Minister, said that the Administration “is prepared to find the resources needed” to improve readiness and ensure that the country is able to withstand the passage of potentially destructive weather systems.

“The time has come for a different approach to be made in relation to our mitigation mechanisms, as it requires quite a bit of resources to recover after a disaster,” he pointed out.

The Minister noted the significance of preparedness and availability of information, particularly during the hurricane season, which began on June 1.

He said that critical data, such as that provided by the tsunami early warning system in Old Harbour, St. Catherine, are key elements in the preparation process.

Minister McKenzie said that the Old Harbour community is fully seized of the importance of remaining ready and responding quickly when a warning is issued.

“We must commend the work, which the volunteers have been doing in the whole process of disaster preparedness and response,” he said.

Minister McKenzie, in the meantime, is urging citizens to take charge of their own preparedness, noting that readiness is a personal responsibility.

“We cannot depend solely on the Government to make preparations during the season. Activities such as trimming our trees and ensuring that our gullies are not littered with garbage are helpful in ensuring that we fare better at the end of the day,” he argued.

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