Isaac said government plans to build regional relief centres

Minister for the Environment, Climate Resilience, Disaster Management and Urban Renewal, Joseph Isaac has challenged village councils on island to develop disaster management plans for the 2018 Hurricane Season.

He was speaking at a National Climate Resilience Consultation for councils held at the Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU) Building Wednesday.

The consultation was organized by the Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs, Family and Gender Affairs, Department of Local Government and Community Development.

“I am again challenging you to consider at the community level, developing disaster management plans,” Isaac said. ‘What we are looking at, you will have an overall government system, a National Disaster Management plan/ Climate Resilience Developing Strategy all that will be tied with each other and then after you have that plan you need to look at mobilization.”

Isaac highlighted the need for mobilization within the various communities in the context of government’s plan to implement regional relief centres.

“Each community might not have a large facility but it will have a regional centre,” Isaac said. “The question is how do you mobilize when there is an announcement on the radio a day before, two days before that a storm is approaching Dominica, and we expect it to be a category 2, a category 3 what do we do?”

He added, “How do we engage bus drivers in the village to get and gather the most vulnerable people?”

Using the Grand Fond Constituency as an example, Isaac asked, “how do you mobilize Morne Jaune, Riviere Cyrique and Grand Fond?”

Acting Local Government Commissioner, Glenroy Toussaint also spoke at the consultation and called for the development of a new thinking in terms of resilience.

“It means therefore we have to develop a new thinking and that new vision moving forward is that we have to breathe resilience, we have to eat resilience, we have to sleep resilience and importantly we have to live resilience,” he stated. “We certainly have no option but to become resilient individuals, resilient communities and ultimately a resilient country.”

He said it is against this backdrop that the consultation was organized.

According to Toussaint, one of the objectives of the consultation is to allow councils to have a clearer understanding of Climate Resilience Execution Agency of Dominica [CREED] as well as Dominica’s low climate Resilience Development Strategy.”

Other objectives of the consultation are: to seek to build consensus on the role of the councils in building community resilience and to explore the development of community based climate resilience projects.