Friday, November 25, 2005 - Leaving behind thousands of deaths,
demolished infrastructure and displaced people, the unusually active 2005
Atlantic hurricane season will come to a close on November 30th . Before leaving
the island on government business last week, Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony
who is also the Chairman of the National Emergency Management Advisory Committee
NEMAC reflected on the record breaking season.
Prime Minister Anthony said the season which proved to be one of the most
catastrophic ones ever recorded showed plainly how weather systems can impact on
people's lives. Using the island's own experiences of bad weather in recent
weeks the island's leader appealed to all to display more regard and more
respect for the environment.
“We must remember, however, that our own actions continue to contribute to the
severity of the impact of these weather systems on our lives. The indiscriminate
disposal of plastics and other non biodegradable material, poor land use
practices, and non-adherence to acceptable land development and building
standards, among other factors, cause our rivers and drains to clog, our slopes
to become more vulnerable and our dwelling houses to be compromised. “
Dr. Anthony also discouraged reliance on institutions such as the National
Emergency Management Office, the Ministry of Communications and Works, the Solid
Waste Management Authority and the Ministry of Physical Development which he
says can only do so much.
Instead Dr. Anthony said every citizen should take responsibility for
maintaining a healthy environment.
“The onus has to be on each and every resident of Saint Lucia to take
responsibility for our environment and our country. If we don’t, then we will
continue to suffer the sort of discomfort and inconvenience that we lived
through last week, and it will only get worse.”
There were three Category Five hurricanes this year - Katrina, Rita, and Wilma.
Wilma, with pressures of 882 millibars broke the old record set by Gilbert in
1988, to make it the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean.