Executive Director of Dominica Association of Industry and Commerce (DAIC), Lizra Fabian has said that the DAIC is focusing on achieving resilience for small and medium enterprises within the private and public sectors.
She spoke at a workshop for a two-day Disaster Risk Reduction Training which has been organized by the DAIC in conjunction with DHTA and DYBT, for persons with small and medium businesses on Wednesday May 22nd 2019 at Prevo Cinemall.
“This year we are focusing on achieving resilience for MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) and this two-day workshop is key to take a proactive measure in our private sector to reduce our disaster risk. Often times we hear that disasters are prevalent in our private sector and we know that if we do not take the measures that we need to, to protect our businesses then we’ll always be at risk,” she stated.
Fabien said that over the past years and primarily since hurricane Maria, the DAIC has paid special attention to disaster risk reduction knowing that all Dominican businesses faced challenges in recent times.
“DAIC looks at focusing on raising awareness also sharing knowledge on ensuring our private sector can implement measurable actions so that we can reduce our disaster risk but also in being part of the global objectives which is the ‘Sendai Framework’,” Fabien explained. “It aims it reduce our loses, the number of persons who were affected. It also aims to increase the number of early warning systems we have around the world ; it is also aims at increasing the disaster risk reduction plans that we have nationally.”
She added, “As part of our national plan, we are seeking to enhance our partnership with the public sector so that the private sector and public sector can work together to benefit Dominica. We also aim at facilitating collaboration among our regional and international organizations.”
Fabian is encouraging everyone to continue to work alongside DAIC in reducing disaster risks and making Dominica more resilient.
Meantime, Permanent secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, Enterprises and Small Businesses Development, Esther Thomas said Hurricane Maria has taught every Dominican a lesson on how to be better prepared for natural disasters.
“We all know that it is very important to plan, it is very important to be prepared. Part of preparing and planning is critical for us to achieve some of the goals, objectives and success that we have set out for us,” she said.
“We all remember what Maria did to us…it touched the whole island and we all were affected and I’m sure we all recognized many things that it opened our eyes to. People are now rebuilding back within best practice standards to ensure a category five hurricane would not be disastrous to them,” James stated.
She continued, “When you talk about Dominica being the first resilient nation of the world there are gamuts of things, we have to factor in. It is not only the infrastructure; we have to talk about the human resource. We have to talk about the systems, the processes, the management, our communication strategy, our human resource development in terms of our people. Are they adequately prepared? Do they understand the systems of operations? All of that needs to be factored in your planning to enable the risk to be less as a result of a disaster.”
She advised businesses to consider better storage of files and documentation and also to practice individual business disaster plans.
The sessions outlined for the training include, current and future risk for businesses, businesses continuity and enterprises and monitoring and evaluation of disaster and climate resilient businesses, among others.
The training is scheduled to run from May 22nd to May 23rd, 2019.