Local Government Commissioner Mr. Glenroy Toussaint has welcomed the rehabilitation of seven emergency shelters across the island.
The repair and rehabilitation were recommended by the Emergency Shelter subcommittee of the National Emergency Planning Organization (NEPO) through its Chairperson, Local Government Commissioner Mr. Glenroy Toussaint.
The emergency shelters identified for repair under the project are the Eggleston Pavillion, Pointe Michel Community Centre, Laudat Old School, Cochrane Old School, Cottage Community Centre, Lower Penville Resource Centre, and Sineku Resource Centre.
IOM is currently re-assessing these shelters and plans to begin repairs in November 2020.
The works will run concurrently under the management of different contractors, in order to be complete by the end of project in June 2021.
“The shelters for renovation or improvement were really selected based on the vulnerabilities of these communities, the usage – number of people who would be required to use the facility during adverse weather events, and importantly the capacity of the community, that is, the organizational structure that exists within those seven,” Local Government Commissioner, Mr. Glenroy Toussaint indicated.
Under the project, IOM with funding from USAID will also be pre-positioning essential emergency shelter equipment supplies in a total of 55 emergency shelters, including the seven that are being repaired.
“The 55 shelters that have been earmarked for provision of non-food-items were also selected based on the vulnerability of those communities as well. We have a number of communities that are in vulnerable areas and we will seek to strengthen those facilities so as to ensure that persons are in a more comfortable and safe environment during adverse events such as hurricanes, tropical storms and the like.”
Toussaint welcomed the contribution to the initiatives.
“So it is really a project that is welcomed. It is going to take us a long way in terms of our own community emergency readiness initiatives as far as building capacity of communities to respond to adverse events,” Toussaint noted.
Community members are being urged to play their part in community preparedness, including protection of basic supplies such as wheelchairs, cots and First Aid kits at the shelters, and coming forward as volunteers to assist the Emergency Shelter Managers as part of a management Team for each shelter, within the structure of the Community Disaster Management Committees.
People who are willing to volunteer in community disaster preparedness, including from vulnerable groups such as youth, elderly, migrants and people with disabilities are asked to contact their local village councils or the Office of Disaster Management (ODM) to make themselves available to serve.