Workshop on CDC’s Draft Integrated Disaster Risk Management Plan a success

Georgetown, GINA, June 11, 2013

The Civil Defence Commission (CDC) conducted, what has been described as a successful workshop on the Draft Integrated Disaster Risk Management Plan (DIDRMP) at its Thomas Lands, Headquarters in Georgetown today.

The workshop’s objectives were to present the DIDRMP and provide an opportunity for stakeholders to offer comments and suggestions for the document, according to Deputy CDC Director General Col Francis Abraham.

Director General of CDC Col Ret’d. Chabilall Ramsarup addressing stakeholders at the workshop for the Review and Discussion of the Draft National Integrated Disaster Risk Management Plan and Strategy

Declaring the workshop open, CDC Director General Col Ret’d Chabilall Ramsarup touched on the importance of being prepared for any possible disaster, noting that the CDC has moved from just responding to disasters to having a comprehensive disaster risk management plan. He said that previously held consultations have resulted in various suggestions and input from stakeholders, and these will be incorporated into the final draft of the vital document with assistance from the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) and the Inter-American Development Bank.  “Various sectors and regions have submitted, or are in the process of completing and submitting their Disaster Response Plans, and all should be completed by year end”.

Deputy Director General of CDC Col Ret’d. Francis Abraham addressing stakeholders at the Workshop for the Review and Discussion of the Draft National Integrated Disaster Risk Management Plan and Strategy

The CDC head said that, “Once any disaster strikes in any part of the country, they’ll be fully prepared”. He added that exercises such as “Floodgate” and the more recent “Connectivity”, are key tools which will help to improve the CDC’s capability as they, “exposed several gaps that are being addressed.”

Consultant Evan Green addressing stakeholders at the Workshop for the Review and Discussion of the Draft National Integrated Disaster Risk Management Plan and Strategy for Guyana

Facilitator of the workshop, consultant Evan Green a Canadian disaster risk management specialist pointed out that Guyana and its respective sector agencies should be able to view the Draft Integrated Disaster Risk Management Plan as a “One Stop Shop” document. This, he said, would enable stakeholders to deal with any, “foreseeable disaster locally in any community, region or even on a countrywide scale.” Green noted that estimates put the losses from floods annually in Guyana at US $150 million annually by 2030, and all possible measures to alleviate this and other possible disasters must be put in place.

Plenary group of stakeholders at Workshop for the Review and Discussion of the Draft National Integrated Disaster Risk Management Plan and Strategy for Guyana

The workshop covered in detail, the vision, goal, strategic objectives; expected outcomes and activities for risk identification, prevention, mitigation, risk transfer, preparedness/response and recovery of the DIRMP. Possible implementation strategies via suggested projects were also reviewed by participants.

Stakeholders at Workshop for the Review and Discussion of the Draft National Integrated Disaster Risk Management Plan and Strategy for Guyana

In closing the workshop, Col. Ramsarup said that the next step in the process will be to conduct an open public forum for further discussions on the Draft DIDRMP. Once this is concluded, the final document will be sent to Cabinet for approval before its measures and policies are implemented. He stressed that interested persons and other stakeholders can access the relevant information via the CDC’s website and offer any relevant suggestions to the final document.

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