In the aftermath of Sunday’s heavy rainfall that triggered devastating flooding in the North of the Island, Saint Lucia has been mobilising regional and international assistance.
The disclosure came from Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre at a news conference on Monday at which the Acting Director of the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) was also present.
Pierre said NEMO was in contact with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA).
“NEMO has been in touch with CDEMA and other regional and international disaster response agencies with a view to mobilising assistance for the affected communities,” he said.
At the same time, the Prime Minister said that responders were working around the clock to conduct a damage assessment, clear roads, and drains, and provide relief to affected individuals.
In addition, Pierre disclosed that teams were assessing the impact on agriculture.
And he explained that once NEMO presents a damage assessment, the government will determine the nature and extent of the assistance needed and create a complete response programme.
There have been no reports of death following Sunday’s flooding.
However, Pierre and the Acting NEMO Director expressed concern about indiscriminate garbage disposal.
Pierre noted that the Ministry of Infrastructure had maintained the prescribed desilting schedule during preparation for the hurricane season.
But he told reporters that there were many things in the rivers that were not supposed to be there.
The Castries East MP said they included old stoves, discarded fridges, and plastic bottles.
“Once more we are begging and urging the public of Saint Lucia not to dispose of these materials in the waterways and rivers,” Pierre stated.
“Climate change is real. These weather events are going to be more frequently and more devastating,” Pierre warned.
Headline photo: Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre and NEMO Acting Director Maria Medard at Monday’s news conference.