Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 15, 2021 (SKNIS): Claricia Langley-Stevens, Deputy National Disaster Coordinator at the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said that the agency is reinforced by the National Disaster Mitigation Council, a council that provides general oversight and related policy guidance.
“We answer to an authority that is referred to as the Mitigation Council. So the National Mitigation Council is the governing authority that guides the actions of the agency. That is a decision-making body,” said Mrs. Langley-Stevens, during the July 14 edition of Working for You.
The Council, which comprises permanent secretaries, heads of key response agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), is chaired by Attorney-General, the Honourable Vincent Byron Jr. and co-chaired by the Honourable Senator Wendy Phipps.
“And so you have the staff of the agency, the National Sub-committees, the National Mitigation representative body led by Ministers of Cabinet who are able to bring the information from Cabinet and, of course, return some of the discussions that are happening here,” said the Deputy National Disaster Coordinator.
Mrs. Langley-Stevens said that volunteerism is an important component of the agency.
“Then you have our volunteer mechanism and that makes up the ability for the agency to coordinate efficiently and within a timely manner, as well as to be able to build capacity at a national level through training and all other opportunities that are available to us,” she said. “We want to continue to do that as a small agency with great responsibility and, of course, to do it in an efficient and effective manner.”
The National Emergency Management Agency was established in 1995. It is responsible for the coordination and facilitation of before, during and post-disaster management activities at the community and national levels in order to minimize vulnerability and mitigate against the impact of disasters on life, property and the well-being of residents of St. Kitts and Nevis.