#Providenciales, March 20, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – Turks and Caicos was impressive today at the Roundtable on Regional Disaster Response Co-ordination, with 41 stakeholder participants sharing with and tuned into the High Commission of Canada to Jamaica and The Bahamas and the Caribbean Disaster Management Emergency Agency (CDEMA).
“Today is the first time in a long time where we invited stakeholders to our roundtable discussion and had such great attendance. The goal today was really for us to get to know each other better and for us from the Canadian side to better understand the structure in Turks and Caicos. Some of the challenges as well as some of the work being done and CDEMA, and their role. It was also for us to share what Canada can and cannot do,” said Damian Kotzev, Vice Consul of High Commission of Canada.
The discussion centered on the support Canada can lend to disaster recovery in the Turks and Caicos and the Caribbean; instantly catapulting this conversation from a national level to a regional and international game-changer.
Dr. Virginia Clerveaux, Director of the Turks and Caicos Islands Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies (DDME) admitted that thankfully, it is back to the drawing board on the External Affairs Plan, which is the protocol for accessing resources from regional and international partners.
Canada’s support abundantly promises significant help. Dr. Clerveaux says the commitments outlined will positively broaden the opportunities for resource support for the Turks and Caicos Islands in the event of a disaster.
“Disaster Management plans and disaster management standard operating procedures are policies and are not like encyclopedias that you have on your shelf because it looks good, they are living documents that need to be constantly updated, whether it is through the result of a real event or after an exercise of this nature, you have to go back and update your plan to ensure that you reflect your reality.”
The Roundtable was opened by Governor Dr. John Freeman, Minister of Home Affairs, Delroy Williams and Non-resident Consul General to the Canadian High Commission, Laurie Peters; it was held at the Regent Village.
Also in attendance was Deputy Governor Anya William, Maxovanno Thomas, Opposition Appointed member to the House of Assembly and representing CDEMA, Mandela Christian, who is the Programming Officer.
The one-day event further showcased what the DDME does outside of hurricane season.
Dr. Clerveaux said it is all about building capacity.