Government approves emergency communication plan for Dominica

The Cabinet of Dominica has approved the implementation of the National Emergency Telecommunications plan to establish a cohesive harmonized structure for emergency communication on the island.

In a statement earlier this week, Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, with responsibility for Telecommunications and Broadcasting, Senator Oscar George said the plan was developed to ensure efficiency in emergency communication in the aftermath of any natural disaster.

“Government conducted a multi-sectoral consultation in April 2021 to consider issues related to mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery as the basis for informing the plan,” he stated.

George said participants included the office of disaster management, telecoms service providers’ utility companies, amateur radio providers, shipping agencies and other private and public sector entities.

“The implementation of the plan will involve the formalization of legislation for disaster risk management; the comprehensive disaster management bill will incorporate provisions of the Tampere Convention, a United Nations (UN) Treaty signed by Dominica in 2000,” he said.

The minister explained that the Tampere Convention calls on states to facilitate the provision of prompt communications and assistance to mitigate the impact of a disaster.

The National Disaster Plan will be updated to improve coordination among relevant actors involved in disaster risk management and emergency response communications.

He said the Office of Disaster Management and other agencies which form the National Emergency Planning Organization (NEPO) will fast track the adoption of a comprehensive disaster management framework, maintain updated hazard maps for all hazards and provide information on the most vulnerable disaster prone communities in Dominica.

“Other action items include the updating of the network inventory and coverage of mobile and fixed telecom providers, radio and television broadcasting and the adoption of an alternative telecoms and ICT infrastructure, such as satellite services and devices for voice and broadband communications,” he stated.

George went on to state that the Government of Dominica will coordinate with the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) member-states to develop specific regulations for the telecommunications and ICT sector, “regarding disaster risk management and update standard operating procedures for the emergency and disaster response related communication.”

The telecommunications minister also indicated that Dominica will enhance surveillance and monitoring systems for probable threats prior to the occurrence of disasters and emergencies.

“Furthermore, telecommunications training and drills for emergencies will be conducted to enhance policies and plans and procedures governing the use of communication networks,” he noted.

George continued, “The implementation plan also considers the establishment of call centres to warn affected populations of new risks; disseminate updates and connect affected citizens to relatives as well as the development of emergency operation centres to provide critical communication during the response phase of a disaster.”

He thanked the International Telecommunications Union and the World Bank for partnering with Dominica to undertake this extensive exercise.

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4 Comments

  1. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    March 23, 2022

    Dominica is truly a place beyond compare; we seem to have a governmental system which does not exists in any other place on the planet.

    Here we have one who claims to be a minister of government with his office in the the prime minister office; by the same token this minister of government Oscar George, is also a Senator, either by election, or appointment!

    How can this be, considering the following logic.

    A minister’s function, is to act as the head of that ministry; a minister typically helps to form government policy in his or her area and then tries to manage the ministry in such a way that these policies are carried out effectively.

    Only in Dominica I see so much confusion.

    A National Emergency Communications Plan should be the Nation’s strategic plan to strengthen and enhance emergency communications capabilities. It should navigate the complex mission of maintaining and improving emergency communications capabilities for emergency responders; and advised…

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1
    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      March 23, 2022

      Con:
      Such a system should be developed in a way that when it becomes necessary for people to evacuate they can be informed via that system.

      In general it should be an emergency Alert System; a national warning system which gives a warning in advance via Radio, and Television, and via one cell phone, as we have in the United States; i.e. the Amber alert we get via our cellular phone.

      If the emergency information is simply between government offices, what will happen in the case of a hurricane, earthquake when all electronic communication cease to exist?

      • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
        March 26, 2022

        And let me add here your hypothesis is not new; in theory the late Roosevelt “Rosie” Douglas, came out with precisely the same idea. That is perhaps the only thing he might have accomplished during his short tenure!

        In that he was capable of asking a Dominica scientists native of Grand Bay, working in Canada for a company which I also worked with on the American side, for assistance; Mr. Xavier ensured that he provided the government of Dominica the electronic equipment to set up such communication system between all the government ministries and offices!

        All the electronic equipment was shipped to Dominica, where they remained on the docks of the custom, and was eventually destroyed by the elements (rain) dirt dust and all else!

        Why?

        All because of a corrupted man so called permanent secretary, who was in the pocket of Cable and Wireless, who told him if he allow the system to be installed, he would have to pay his son tuition  in college!

        So, your talk is…

  2. Mangos
    March 23, 2022

    More words…. let’s see if there is going to be any action. This government and its PM are world leaders in words, waffle and cheap propaganda. Not to mention that word LIES

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

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