OECS strengthens at risk communities

GIS:-Communities Affected by the 2013 Christmas Eve Trough Receive Much-Needed Assistance.

Several regional communities affected by the 2013 Christmas Eve Trough floods have benefited from disaster risk reduction interventions implemented by the OECS Commission in collaboration with the Government of New Zealand.

The partnership, formed in Sep 2014, sought to increase the resilience of at-risk communities through the establishment of disaster preparedness facilities, the rehabilitation of community infrastructure, and the provision of training.

A grant funding arrangement with the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in the amount of US$140,000 assisted affected communities in Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and the Commonwealth of Dominica, under the Caribbean Community Flood Response Program. The OECS Commission, as recipient of the grant, was responsible for identifying and monitoring the project interventions through its Social and Sustainable Development Division.

Projects completed under the grant include the installation of a fuel tank and pump in Saint Vincent; the stabilization of the river bank at Anse La Raye, Saint Lucia; the reconstruction of drainage works at La Clery, Saint Lucia; and the rehabilitation of the Gutter Village Shelter in the Commonwealth of Dominica.

A section of the Gutter Village Shelter was designated as a library and after school review space for community children. The non-profit organization, Hands Across the Sea, donated books to furnish the new facility.

Public and private sector entities, including the ministries responsible for infrastructure, social transformation, community development, local government (e.g. town and village councils), national and community disaster management agencies, local businesses, and other NGOs and stakeholders, also provided support to the initiative.