Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018

Early warning

Early warning
21 Nov
2018

Despite the strides made in the area of disaster preparedness, the Minister of Home Affairs Edmund Hinkson says some gaps still exist.

He says Caribbean countries, as small island developing states, remain vulnerable.

Mr Hinkson says while the capacity of disaster emergency centers is becoming stronger, most are struggling with limited financial resources and manpower.

Mr Hinkson comments came at the launch of the Climate Risk Early Warning System initiative at the Accra Beach Hotel.

The Home Affairs Minister says early warning systems are critical lifesaving tools.

He revealed Barbados' own national comprehensive disaster risk management policy and country work programme, has been aligned to regional and international frameworks.

Meanwhile the dissemination of information to the public was among the challenges for countries in the region during the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season.

Over all, Lina Sjaavik of the World Meteorological Organisation, says the forecasting was timely and accurate, with a good overview of the trajectory and intensity of the hurricanes.

However she notes there was low forecasting for secondary hazards.

The information is contained in a study conducted by the WMO on the lessons learnt from the 2017 hurricane season in the Caribbean.

Ms Sjaavik says a strong focus was made on gender in the study of last year's hurricane season.

And the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency wants to see more investments made in national disaster offices.

Executive director, Ronald Jackson says they must be fitted with the right personnel with the right skill sets and resources.

He says these entities are important players in the early warning process.

Mr Jackson also wants to see the region reach a stage where there's a shared approach among member states, to close the resource gap.