Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 02, 2022 (SKNIS): The Disaster Management Offices of St. Kitts and Nevis are scheduled to undergo a Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) Audit, a project that is described as timely and significant for the Federation.
This was according to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) Consultant for the Audit, Denise Murray, on the Wednesday, March 02 edition of Working for You.
“[For us] here at CDEMA and across the Caribbean, it is a timely exercise whereby we are engaging the Federation in an audit tool. Think of it as an assessment, think of it as a critical feedback to this process and it is a way to engage our key stakeholders in the twin-island Federation,” said Ms. Murray. “The Federation has embraced the process and we are looking forward to listening to our stakeholders and to having a dynamic event and project.”
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Nevis Disaster Management Department (NDMD) have all embraced the project. Claricia Langley-Stevens, Deputy National Disaster Coordinator noted that the audit is significantly important, adding that St. Kitts and Nevis has been engaged in the CDM Mandate over the last six years.
“We recognized the value of it as it relates to enhancing our own capabilities at the national disaster offices but also in our country work programmes where we are expected to outline some of the accomplishments, the legislation, the projects and anything that would help to get disaster management on the road to resilience where we are making our twin-island Federation a more resilient state,” said Mrs. Langley-Stevens. “We recognize that there are some challenges and gaps and without the use of the tool – a series of questions specific to different sectors, departments and stakeholders that support disaster management in St. Kitts and Nevis – that could help us to firstly, identify the gaps and then be able to put mechanisms in place to fill these gaps, even if it is just through training, education and awareness or just looking at the capacity of the national disaster offices.”
Director of NDMD, Brian Dyer shared similar sentiments.
“It is a chance for us to look internally at our systems and procedures and to also engage our stakeholders because over the years we have been impacted by several hazards, and it is a chance now to look at what we had in place and how effective it was and also to engage our internal staff on capacity building as well,” said Mr. Dyer. “Across the region, several states were impacted and because of the intervention of the international agencies we found that some of the operations in-country were a bit short. So it is a chance now for us to leverage the recommendations and best practices from some of these countries to see how it can enhance the operations here in St. Kitts and Nevis,” he added.
CDEMA is a regional inter-governmental agency for disaster management in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). The Agency was established in 1991 as CDERA (Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency) with primary responsibility for the coordination of emergency response and relief efforts to Participating States that require such assistance. It transitioned to CDEMA in 2009 to fully embrace the principles and practice of Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) which is an integrated and proactive approach to disaster management and seeks to reduce the risk and loss associated with natural and technological hazards and the effects of climate change to enhance regional sustainable development.