Georgetown, Guyana – (April 1, 2017) Director General of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), Colonel (Retired) Chabilall Ramsarup, on Wednesday, handed over a Regional Multi-Hazard Preparedness and Response Plan to the Cuyuni-Mazaruni Disaster Risk Management Committee at the Bartica Regional Hospital Boardroom. In addition to the Multi-hazard Preparedness and Response Plan, several hazard maps of the Region and a certificate of completion were also handed over to the Committee.

The Plan was handed over after the conclusion of the first meeting of the Cuyuni-Mazaruni Disaster Risk Management Committee on March 28, 2017. The meeting was deemed as the formal activation of the Regional Disaster Risk Management System for Cuyuni-Mazaruni.

This plan and maps will provide the Cuyuni-Mazaruni Disaster Risk Management Committee and its member agencies with the necessary baseline data to guide decision-making and inform more effective roll out of Disaster Risk Management initiatives within the Region. The maps and plan detail the Region’s disaster risk profile and outline necessary preparedness and response functions, which are to be carried out by specific stakeholders within the Region during emergency and disaster preparedness and response periods. The system was developed over the period November 2016 to January 2017 through a series of consultations and community mapping exercises, which saw the development of the Multi-Hazard Preparedness and Response Plan and the regional hazard maps.

Colonel Ramsarup, in an invited comment, said that the Commission remains committed to building Guyana’s disaster risk management capabilities through stakeholder engagements. This is in an effort to build resilience at the regional level so as to reduce disaster risk through enhanced preparedness and response capabilities. He said the Plan will give the Region to independently mange its own disaster planning and resilience. “Going forward the Committee will be tasked with ensuring that the guidelines and other measures contained in the Plan are put into action and implemented so that in the event we have disasters in various regions at the same time, the Region will be able to respond and not be solely dependent on the CDC,” he said.

The Committee aims to improve the coordination of Disaster Risk Management activities within the Region through a multi-stakeholder platform. The establishment of the committee within the Region represents a national movement by the CDC to decentralise Disaster Risk Management by developing Regional Disaster Risk Management Systems in each of Guyana’s 10 Administrative Regions.

Regional Chairman, Mr. Gordon Bradford, who is also the Chairman of the Committee, chaired the meeting of the Regional Disaster Risk Management Committee. A total of 17 members attended the inaugural meeting including representatives of the Joint Services, Regional Democratic Council, Bartica Regional Hospital, and the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute.

To date, the Barima-Waini (Region One), Pomeroon-Supenaam (Region Two), Essequibo Islands-West Demerara (Region Three), Mahaica-Berbice (Region Five), East Berbice-Corentyne (Region Six) and Cuyuni-Mazaruni (Region Seven) have benefitted from this initiative. The Commission is hoping to complete the Plans for Demerara-Mahaica (Region Four), Potaro-Siparuni (Region Eight), Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo (Region Nine) and Upper Demerara-Berbice (Region Ten) by the end of the year.

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