CHARLESTOWN, Nevis — The Nevis Island Administration (NIA) through the Nevis Disaster Management Department (NDMD) is on the receiving end of a multi-million dollar gift from the government and people of Japan to assist with disaster management.
The disclosure was made at the grounds of the NDMD on Feb. 20, when the NIA Cabinet inspected some of the equipment received. Premier of Nevis Hon. Mark Brantley thanked the donors for the gift.
“It is for me as Premier of Nevis to thank the government and people of Japan for this very generous donation and for this very generous investment that they have made in the development of our island,” said Brantley. “I think all of us should be proud and happy we are seeing the fruits of that continued engagement with important countries such as Japan, in terms of what they have offered.
“The gift which is being delivered in tiers includes two front-end loaders, three disaster management mini storage units, rescue equipment, one drone, two SLR cameras, one dump truck and a pallet of spare parts, one rescue vehicle with snorkel and three pick-up trucks.
“The second consignment is expected to arrive in April,” said Brantley. “It will contain 24 fire suits; one Closed Circuit TV set; three generator sets; 400 tarpaulins; 30 VHF hand-held radios and accessories; 10 VHF vehicle mobile base radios and accessories; and a medical vehicle.
Brantley believes that the gift will put Nevis in a better state of readiness to face disasters.
“We are making Nevis more resilient,” said the Premier. “We are making the island better equipped to deal with storms when they come and other disasters when they come and whilst we pray that they won’t come it is important that we be prepared in the event that they do come and I think that is important.”
Brantley said the donation came as a direct result of engaging the government and people of Japan for assistance in the development of Nevis.
“What you see here is a realization of those efforts in terms of engaging with foreign governments, seeking to build our country, build our little island here in Nevis and to get from those relationships things that are beneficial for us and our people,” said Brantley.
NDMD Director Brian Dyer explained the front-end loaders will be used for clearing roads in an emergency and to assist with beach management in the event of erosion after severe wave action.
“The vehicles will be used in various ministries for response mechanism,” explained Dyer. “We have three small warehouses that were received that would be used in the communities as satellite warehouses, where we will be storing emergency supplies so the volunteers in the various communities can act responsibly in the immediate aftermath of any emergency or crisis for a period of up to two days before the professional help arrives.”
Among the equipment in the warehouses are rescue ropes, backboards, wheelchairs, faucet kits, desks and chain saws for emergency use.
Regarding the equipment expected later this year, Dyer explained the medical vehicle is for use by the Ministry of Health. The generators will be placed at community centres while they are operating in emergencies.
The CCTv will be used at the NDMD compound. The VHF radios will be installed at community centres and in all the vehicles.
Japan is expected to send a team of technical experts to assist in training in the use of some of the equipment.
Also present at the inspection were Deputy Premier of Nevis and Minister of Disaster Management, Hon. Alexis Jeffers; Hon Eric Evelyn; Minister of Public Works, Hon Spencer Brand; Junior Minister, Hon. Troy Liburd; Cabinet Secretary, Stedmond Tross; NIA Legal Advisor, Mrs. Hélène Anne Lewis; Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Ministry, Wakely Daniel; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Disaster Management, Huey Sargeant; Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture with responsibility for Disaster Management, Ms. Rhosyll Jeffers; Supervisor of Roads at the Public Works Department, Daniel Williams; and Building Supervisor in the Public Works Department, Alastair Thompson.