The local government department has joined the efforts in making Dominica the first climate resilient country in the world. On Wednesday, a national climate resilience consultation for councils got under way at the Public Service Union building.
This is also one of the activities on the cards for local government month.
Addressing the opening ceremony, the Hon Minister for Ecclesiastical affairs, Lady Catherine Daniel, says local government has an integral role to play in disaster preparedness. The Hon Minister noted that councils should ensure that they are ready to cushion the impact of disasters.
“For you at the community level, the question is what role should you play in that rebuilding process? How do we rebuild back safer more resilient communities after a category five hurricane as Maria? How do we combat that merciless actuality called climate change?” she asked.
Hon Daniel says all village councils should have a disaster management committee and a disaster simulation plan.
“This plan should not only prepare your response capacity only to storms but to droughts and rain events that occur outside the hurricane season,” she posited.
Also addressing the ceremony was the Hon Minister for Climate Resilience, Disaster Management, Environment and Urban Renewal, Joseph Isaac.
Hon Isaac reminded the participants that Dominica is prone to disaster because of its location. He also revealed that government is looking towards the implementation of regional relief centres. This, he explained will be shelters being built in a one specific village in a constituency.
It is therefore important that the village council implement a mobilization plan in time of a disaster.
“How do we engage bus drivers in the village to gather the most vulnerable people? How do we plan and organize a food bank for those communities? As I said, it is not whether we will have a storm or whether we will have a natural disaster, the question is when. I think we need to treat these matters with urgency.”
Acting Local Government Commissioner, Glenroy Tousssaint, is pleased that local government can contribute to the goal of making Dominica the first climate resilient country in the world.
“We certainly have no option but to become resilient individuals, resilient communities and ultimately a resilient country. It is against this backdrop that the department has organized this national climate resilience consultation for councils…”
Discussions were held on the topic ‘The Role of Councils in Disaster Management at the Community Level’, and a presentation on the topic ‘green climate fund’ also formed part of the consultation.