PRIME Minister, Brigadier (ret’d), Mark Phillips on Friday said the government aims to continuously strengthen Guyana’s regional disaster management systems by injecting more resources and enhancing training opportunities.
This push, according to the Prime Minister, will improve the response time and efforts at a provincial level.
The senior government official made these remarks during his featured address at the commissioning of the first-ever Regional Disaster Management Centre at Lethem, Region Nine.
“Today’s event is a significant milestone in Guyana’s disaster risk-reduction history, and I am honoured to be here in Region Nine to commission the first-ever Regional Disaster Management Centre — a facility that will not only bring relief to the people of Region Nine, but also build the region’s capacity to adequately face and react to the perils that so often come with disasters.”
According to the Prime Minister, along with aiding disaster-relief efforts, the centre at Lethem will serve as a shelter for displaced families.
The centre will also house dedicated areas for relief goods and capacity building and training in the region.
“We recognise that there must be sufficient structures and mechanisms in place to anticipate future disasters, especially recurring ones like flooding. There must be capacity-building, education and training with regard to response efforts of the local authorities. There must be coordination of relevant agencies to come up with contingency plans to deal with disasters. And most of all; there must be sufficient funding.”
The Prime Minister added that the centre, continuous training and the injection of other resources, along with an active early-warning system, will enhance the regional capacity to reduce the loss of lives and damage to assets.
Meanwhile, Director-General of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), Lieutenant-Colonel Kester Craig, who also spoke at the commissioning of the centre, stated that development of the facility in the region is a monumental achievement for local disaster risk management.
“The centre represents one of the largest direct disaster preparedness and response capacity investment by the Government of Guyana at a cost of G$96M.”
The Director-General of the CDC added that the agency is committed and will continue to work assiduously within the region to enhance the disaster risk management system, while building institutional capacities and mechanisms at all levels.
(Office of the Prime Minister)