St. Vincent and the Grenadines trains more Community Emergency Response Teams - under the “Volcano Ready Project”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
St. Vincent and the Grenadines trains more Community Emergency Response Teams -

under the “Volcano Ready Project”

St. Vincent and the Grenadines – August 16, 2019 – The University of the West Indies’ Seismic
Research Center (UWI-SRC), in collaboration with the National Emergency Management
Organization (NEMO), will be hosting a five-day training session with volunteers of the northern
windward communities under the volcano ready communities project. The project aims to prepare
communities to manage potential impacts of La Soufrière Volcano and related hazards.
The “Volcano-Ready Communities in St. Vincent and the Grenadines” project targets 12
communities in the high-risk zones of La Soufrière. It specifically seeks to improve response
capacities through training and risk assessment; develop a “Volcano-Ready” framework and
toolkit for communities; and create public education and awareness materials to be shared with
schools, businesses, and residents.


“We want to ensure that people here can live safely and resiliently and enjoy their lives, so that
when bad things happen because of the environment that [they] won’t be knocked back as badly,”
says NEMO Director, Michelle Forbes.
She further explains, “When we speak about ‘Volcano-Ready communities’ we’re speaking about
it in the context of a volcanic environment. Yes, the volcano erupts from time to time, but the very
nature of the volcanic landscape is such that it poses certain hazards. For example, all of the loose
material around is great for crops and farming, but it means that when rain comes, it strips off the
materials and creates flash floods. When you have a storm, because the land falls away so quickly,
storm surge comes in and damages the coastline. So, you’re really in a multi-hazard environment.”
Following successful completion of the project, St. Vincent and the Grenadines will be the first
country in the Region to hold a “Volcano-Ready” designation.
The 12 communities targeted during the two-year project have been divided into two groups. On
the Windward side: Big Level, Colonarie, Fancy, Overland, Owia, Park Hill, Sandy Bay and South
Rivers; and on the Leeward side: Chateaubelair, Fitz Hughes, Rose Hall and Spring Village. The
official Project Launch was held on April 6, 2018 at the Sandy Bay Government School, and
attended by beneficiaries of approximately six of the targeted communities.
“Communities are most affected by disasters and they are the first responders in the case of
disasters. In some cases, they are even aware of the event before the central authorities know
about it. Therefore, community-based disaster risk reduction should be at the core of any risk
reduction effort,”
The project is being administered through CDB’s Community Disaster Risk Reduction Fund
(CDRRF) and is supported by the Government of Canada and the European Union.
Next week’s workshop will be held at the Modern Medical Diagnostic center at Georgetown. It
begins at 8.30 on Tuesday morning. The workshop will run until Saturday, August 24th. Minister
of Housing, Informal Human Settlements, Land and Surveys and Physical Planning, Montgomery
Daniel will address Tuesday’s opening.

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About the Community Disaster Risk Reduction Fund
The Community Disaster Risk Reduction Trust Fund was established by the Caribbean
Development Bank (CDB) with grant financing from the Government of Canada and the European
Union. The Fund finances community-based disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation
initiatives at the local level across eligible borrowing member countries of CDB. To learn more,
visit: www.caribank.org/programmes/cdrr1