NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (November 10, 2022) — The Caribbean Disaster Management Agency (CDEMA) is seeking to assist in the enhancement of the National Disaster Management Programme in St. Kitts and Nevis.
Ms. Elizabeth Riley, the agency’s Executive Director, during a recent visit to the federation said her presence was indicative of CDEMA’s intention to help.
“The intent of my mission is really to deepen my familiarity with the specific disaster risk management issues which are facing St. Kitts and Nevis and importantly to have a conversation around how the CDEMA Coordinating Unit can better support St. Kitts and Nevis in addressing disaster management issues.
“The agency CDEMA is a regional organisation of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and we have 19 participating states of which St. Kitts and Nevis is one,” she said.
According to Ms. Riley, the agency’s mandate is about supporting member states during times of disaster once a specific request is made to the agency.
She added that CDEMA has a broader resilience-building agenda outside of emergency times.
“We work with a diversity of partners to look at how we can strengthen our ability to withstand the impacts of the hazards that we face and also to recover from those hazards in the shortest possible time,” she noted.
Ms. Riley also spoke to the 2022 to 2027 CDEMA Strategic Plan and how it would St. Kitts and Nevis.
“We have just launched the 2022 to 2927 Strategic Plan for CDEMA and we are already in discussions now with countries to understand how we can better support the national level programming, and we talked through a range of areas including search and rescue. We discussed areas for training through the CDEMA system, and also how CDEMA can leverage its partnership with other partners around the region to support the programme here on Nevis and across the broader federation,” she said.
The CDEMA official used the opportunity to encourage residents to maintain a close relationship with the national disaster management agencies.
“The Nevis Disaster Management Department is here to serve you and we encourage you to reach out, stay connected but also volunteer because the work of the national office is the work of all of us and we all have a role to play and I encourage you to link with your national office, offer your services in whatever way you can because this is what will make us a more resilient people,” she said.
During Ms. Riley’s visit to the federation, she met with various government officials including Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew, Prime Minister and Minister of National Security in St. Kitts and Nevis; as well as Hon. Alexis Jeffers, Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for Disaster Management in Nevis; Mr. Brian Dyer, Director of the Nevis Disaster Management Department (NDMD); and Mr. Abdias Samuel, Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).