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CDEMA Director makes case for more resources to be given to disaster relief agencies

The head of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), is advocating for more finances to be allocated to agencies tasked with responding to natural disasters within the region.
Ronald Jackson, Executive Director of CDEMA, made the recommendation yesterday during Sunday’s Big Issues programme.
He was part of a discussion which centered around the aftermath of Hurricane Irma and its impact on Barbuda.
“This is an area which needs to be strengthened, simply because we are facing newer challenges. And it has to be a societal approach inclusive of government, the opposition and the private sector,” Jackson said.
“The National Office of Disaster Services requires further strengthening of their resources, simply because they play a critical role nationally, but also within the wider regional context,” Jackson added.
Hurricane Irma, hit Barbuda close to two weeks ago, making the island, “barely habitable,” according to Prime Minister Gaston Browne.
The eye of Irma passed almost directly over Barbuda, leaving people homeless. Immediately after the storm government was forced to impose a mandatory evacuation as the twin-island state braced for Hurricane Jose which followed closely behind.
NODS is now leading the national recovery effort for Barbudans who had to be evacuated to the mainland.
Asked whether or not NODS had the resources and manpower to handle the evacuation process, Sherod James, Disaster Coordinator said, “The resources were adequate, but there will always be hiccups and nuances when you are trying to implement systems. And it becomes even more challenging when it is done in emergency cases”.
 

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