St Vincent and the Grenadines gets ‘volcano ready’ with new project

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Chateaubelair is one of the 12 target communities of the Volcano-Ready communities in St Vincent and the Grenadines project

LA SOUFRIÈRE, St Vincent — The University of the West Indies’ Seismic Research Center (UWI-SRC), in collaboration with the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), recently launched a project to prepare communities to manage potential impacts of La Soufrière volcano in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) and related hazards.

The “Volcano-Ready Communities in St Vincent and the Grenadines” project targets 12 towns and villages in the high-risk zones of La Soufrière. It specifically seeks to improve early warning and alert systems; train early response and risk assessment teams; develop a “volcano-ready” framework and toolkit for communities; and create public education and awareness materials to be shared with schools, businesses, and residents.

“We want to ensure that people here can live safely and resiliently and enjoy their lives, so that when bad things happen because of the environment that [they] won’t be knocked back as badly,” said Dr Richard Robertson, director of UWI-SRC.

He further explained, “When we speak about ‘volcano-ready communities’ we’re speaking about it in the context of a volcanic environment. Yes, the volcano erupts from time to time, but the very nature of the volcanic landscape is such that it poses certain hazards. For example, all of the loose material around is great for crops and farming, but it means that when rain comes, it strips off the materials and creates flash floods. When you have a storm, because the land falls away so quickly, storm surge comes in and damages the coastline. So, you’re really in a multi-hazard environment.”

Following successful completion of the project, SVG will be the first country in the region to hold a “volcano-ready” designation.

The 12 communities targeted during the two-year project have been divided into two groups. On the Windward side: Big Level, Colonarie, Fancy, Overland, Owia, Park Hill, Sandy Bay and South Rivers; and on the Leeward side: Chateaubelair, Fitz Hughes, Rose Hall and Spring Village. The official Project Launch was held on April 6, 2018 at the Sandy Bay Government School, and attended by beneficiaries of approximately six of the targeted communities.

“Communities are most affected by disasters and they are the first responders in the case of disasters. In some cases, they are even aware of the event before the central authorities know about it. Therefore, community-based disaster risk reduction should be at the core of any risk reduction effort,” said Benôit-Pierre Laramée, senior director of the Caribbean Regional Programme within the High Commission of Canada, and Canada’s Director to the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

The project is being administered through CDB’s Community Disaster Risk Reduction Fund (CDRRF) and is supported by the government of Canada and the European Union.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. All very well but it doesn’t help those being destroyed by the human volcano with hate, spite and malice.

    I doesn’t help with the police acting as political pawns, beating false admissions from those who they want to plead to crimes they did not do.

    It doesn’t help with polices raids on peoples offices, business’s and homes, sent by the volcano man for political reasons masked as other reasons.

  2. What a joke when the comrade built a medical centre in an area of Georgetown which has been rained on before when the volcano previously erupted. Not water, not cats and dogs, rocks and boulders and poisonous gas. If it ever erupts there will be no escape, one road out and one road in, no possibility of rescue by ship because of the Atlantic crashing waves. No helicopter, even if there was it wouldn’t be able fly because of the massive ash clouds. The ash, rocks and gas can smite Georgetown the most terrible ****.

    So why would anyone except a total idiot have a medical centre built in an active volcano zone?

    Because we are ruled by a rising Marxist dynasty, whose only loyalty is to to the Cubans. That is why it was built, and built by Cubans. That is why the airport was built by the Cubans, so as they can take all the money from our little island, whilst we Vincentians suffer, unfortunately in silence as slaves to the dynasty.

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