NDMD Director Brian Dyer’s message for International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction

NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (October 13, 2020) — The following is a message from Mr. Brian Dyer, Director of the Nevis Disaster Management Department (NDMD) for International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction (IDDR) observed on October 13, 2020. He made the presentation at the Nevis COVID-19 Emergency Centre Operations Briefing at Long Point on October 12, 2020.

The United Nations Office of Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), formerly known as the United Nations for International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), designated October 13th to commemorate the International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR).

The aim is to promote a global culture of disaster reduction including disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness. The event solidifies the global process and achievements thus far towards the Sendai Framework Seven Global Targets to be achieved by the year 2030.

Held on the 13th of October, the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction began in 1989. This day celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters, and raising awareness about the importance of reining in the risks they face.

It is also an opportunity to acknowledge the substantial progress being made toward the reduction of disaster risk, losses in lives, livelihoods and health. Additionally, it also measures the progress made in the economic, physical, social, cultural, environmental and assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries.

The Sendai Seven Campaign promotes each of the seven targets of the Sendai Framework over seven years. The focus for this year 2020 is on Target (e): To substantially increase the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies by the end of 2020.

This year’s theme, “It’s all about Governance/Good Disaster Risk Governance,” emphasises the focus towards effective management of a country’s resources towards disaster risk reduction.

At the local level, it is critical for the legislative framework to keep pace with the growth of our development of the island. Policy development continues in partnership with allied agencies.

The Nevis Disaster Management Department has partnered with our communities to identify and map hazards in the communities in addition to developing response plans. Training of persons to enhance our volunteer pool and develop management structures are ongoing in our communities.

The success of our public awareness campaign depends largely on a participatory approach that engages a wide range of stakeholders. This strategy involves schools, faith-based organisations, government agencies, the business sector, regional and international partners in the promotion of awareness of disaster prevention and managing disaster risks.

Given the current circumstances, the NDMD will host some virtual activities throughout this week and  the rest of October as we encourage the general public to view these activities on our website: ndmd.kn and our social media pages, NDMD outlets and ndmd.kn on Facebook and other social media pages.

Finally, the need to build our resilience and reduce the vulnerability of our society has now become more crucial than ever. The response to the COVID pandemic and a record setting year for the most named storms in the Tropical Atlantic, has the potential to overwhelm our island’s limited resources and exceed our capacity to cope with the new challenges.

It is imperative therefore, that we are armed with the knowledge of what to do before, during and after each impact. Our vulnerability to disasters can only be minimized through effective risk reduction and maximising the use of

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