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Saint Lucia to Develop a National Hazard Mitigation Policy

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Contact: Julita Peter

Monday, May 26, 2003 - A wide cross section of key stakeholders in hazard vulnerability reduction in St. Lucia, will begin a three-day workshop from May 27-29 at the Office Shop conference room in Sans Souci. The workshop organized jointly by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency- CDERA, the Caribbean Development Bank and the National Emergency Management Office NEMO seeks to assist the Government of St. Lucia in developing a National Hazard Mitigation Policy.

St. Lucia’s National Hazard Mitigation Policy is being implemented as part of collaboration between CEDERA’s Caribbean Hazard Mitigation Capacity Building Program and CDB’s Disaster Mitigation Facility for the Caribbean to develop national hazard mitigation policies in Belize, Grenada and St. Lucia.

Director of NEMO Dawn French says at present NEMO has contracted the services of a consultant to assist in drafting the policy. According to French, “We are hoping that this new policy together with a mitigation plan that NEMO has been working on over the past few years could be submitted to the Advisory Council and subsequently to Cabinet for approval.”

CDERA and CDB have developed a Model Hazard Mitigation Policy for the Caribbean to be used as a guide by CDERA’s participating states and CDB borrowing member countries.

Several issues will be highlighted over the coming three days including the vulnerability of St. Lucia and the hazards that the country is at risk to. Participants will also give attention to a CDERA document which looks specifically at mitigation for schools.

Meanwhile with just about one week away from the start of the official hurricane season NEMO is stepping up its efforts to ensure that the country remains in a state of preparedness. It has been predicted that this year’s hurricane season is going to be a very active one with twelve named storms, eight of them likely to become hurricanes. According to French whilst the predictions are to be confirmed on June 6th, NEMO is hoping for a fairly good season.

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