Bridge gaps to address water and waste management – CEDMA Executive Director

DPI, GUYANA, Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Caribbean must bridge existing fundamental gaps if it is to effectively address the challenges in relation to waste and water management particularly when disaster strikes.

Ronald Jackson, Executive Director of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA).

Ronald Jackson, Executive Director of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), noted that threats like hurricanes are not new to the region but there has not been comprehensive planning.

“We’ve not sat down and tackled the fundamental gap that will change the dimensions of how we plan which is information, data the absence of risk-informed strategies,” Jackson noted.

He was part of a panel discussion on the second day of the Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA) conference hosted at the Marriot Hotel, Kingston, Georgetown. The panel examined innovative and creative ways to manage water and waste resources when disaster strikes.

Some of the attendees at the CWWA day two plenary discussion.

“The absence of information, risk-informed tools to be able to make decisions and develop our contingency plans that’s the missing elements,” Jackson noted. He also said a lack of resources also poses a challenge to disaster response as it relates to water management.

“I don’t think there is a shortage of thinking, of personnel in the region, of capabilities that can be thrown at the problem. It really came down to resources as the major in the response overall.”

At the national level, Jackson noted there is a need to better understand the risk in the environment.

Apart from these, the region must also examine better “build back methods” including rainwater harvesting and public-sector storage in the aftermath of disasters.

 

By: Tiffny Rhodius

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