THE Civil Defence Commission (CDC) is currently in the consultancy stage of preparing the draft Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Act and it should be completed by the end of March.
This indication was given by CDC Director General, Colonel (ret’d) Chabilall Ramsarup in an interview with the Guyana Chronicle at his Thomas Lands, Georgetown office on Wednesday.
He said the Commission has been working assiduously to ensure that their key goals and objectives are realized, and is collaborating with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on a number projects.
The CDC collaboration with the IDB is on the design of a National Integrated DRM and implementation strategy for Guyana.
According to Ramsarup, his agency has already signed a contract for it, held a workshop, prepared the inception report and is hoping to complete the final report by the end of February or March.
He said they are now finalising the IDRM policy and it is going to Cabinet very shortly.
Ramsarup also revealed that the Commission has, so far, done a flood risk evaluation and procured the equipment and software for the database that was developed under this project.
“IDRM is putting all the plans in Guyana under one heading, because you would know, not only the Civil Defence Commission would have disaster plans. The Ministry of Health would have a disaster plan where they look at all the issues related to health and the Ministry of Agriculture is now developing their plan,” he explained.
Ramsarup said the CDC is looking, as well, at developing guidelines for incorporating agricultural planning and environmental management in the IDRM plan, because those are the two areas affected most of all when the country experiences any disaster.
“Agriculture and the environment are the two major areas. So we’re trying to integrate that right now and this is expected to be completed by April of this year,” he informed.
Ramsarup said the CDC is also, at present, consulting on a pilot programme in community based DRM, where they will be focusing, apart from nationally, in two communities, Albouystown, Georgetown and West Watooka in Linden.
He said the initial report has been submitted and they are now in the process of submitting the mid-term one.
CDC is consulting on the design for a national public education campaign on flood risk management and the contract has been inked, first report submitted and it is hoped to complete this project by June.
Ramsarup said the public education campaign will be focusing on persons at all levels, including the secondary level of schools, communities and the nation as a whole.
Meanwhile, he said, even though the CDC was established since 1985, no major work was ever done until after the 2005 floods.
They are now advertising for the preparation of a strategic plan for the CDC and they have also expanded their website while in the process of training staff on the website management.
They have also finished the early warning system communication protocol that has to be submitted to Cabinet for approval.