Ministry of Local Government & Community Development

Ministry of Local Government
& Community Development

Government of Jamaica

Articles

JAMAICA SENDS ENVIRONMENT EXPERTS TO ASSIST DISASTER ASSESSMENT EFFORT IN THE BAHAMAS

Published: Wednesday | September 04, 2019

 Jamaica has deployed three specialists to join the Rapid Needs Assessment Teams (RNAT) that will be assisting the Government of the Bahamas in the wake of Hurricane Dorian.

The team of specialists left the island today.

Minister of Local Government and Community Development, and Minister responsible for the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) Hon. Desmond McKenzie, said the team left once weather conditions in the Bahamas permitted safe access to the islands.

After consultations with the Most Honourable Prime Minister and the Chief of Staff of the Jamaica Defence Force, we have sent two specialists from the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA). They are Marine Biologists Ms. Gabrielle-Jae Watson and Mr.  Donavan Sankey. Manager of Safety, Environment and Quality at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PETROJAM), Mr. Leon Jarrett, is also part of the team to the Bahamas.

Minister McKenzie explained that the Rapid Needs Assessment Teams that had been organized by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) before the Hurricane struck, would only have started their work on the ground today, especially in Abaco and Grand Bahama, due to the lingering passage of the Hurricane.

Jamaica is one of CDEMAs Sub Regional Focal Points as part of the CARICOM regional response system. We are specifically responsible for the group of countries that includes the Bahamas. Therefore the natural commitment that we would have as Caribbean siblings is simply more focused and organized, and we are doing, and will be doing everything to honour the undertakings given by the Government, to help the people of the Bahamas to recover from the experience of unprecedented devastation that Hurricane Dorian imposed on them.