Georgetown, Guyana – (January 18, 2018) Stakeholders in Potaro-Siparuni, Region Eight, are now better equipped to prepare for and respond to emergencies within the Region as the Civil Defence Commission, last week, concluded the Orientation Session and Tabletop Exercise in partnership with the Regional Democratic Council (RDC).

The Orientation Session and Tabletop Exercise, which was conducted at Mahdia, was aimed at familiarising regional stakeholders with the draft Regional Risk Assessment Report and draft Regional Multi-Hazard Preparedness and Response Plan for Region Eight. The report and plan were developed over a four-month period, which saw several rounds of consultations with regional stakeholders as well as focused group meetings with communities, all conducted by the CDC.

In reviewing the draft report, the participants were able to examine preliminary information regarding risks and hazard exposure within the Region. The draft report demonstrated that the North Pakaraimas communities were most exposed to various hazard impacts. Further, key drivers of risk within the Region were found to be water pollution, dust pollution, floods, drought, crop pest and diseases, among others. The activity saw the successful completion of a Tabletop Exercise, which tested the operability of the Regional Multi-Hazard Preparedness and Response Plan. During the exercise, participants examined various hazard impact scenarios and simulated emergency response actions, which would be carried out by responsible agencies.

Acting Director General, Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig 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 also said that the completion of the plan will give the Region the independence to manage its own disaster planning and resilience.

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 completed their plans. 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.

The CDC remains committed to building Guyana’s disaster risk management capabilities through stakeholder engagement.

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