L-r) Mr. Brian Dyer, Director of the Nevis Disaster Management Department signs Memorandum of Understanding with His Excellency Tatsua Hirayama, Japan Ambassador to St. Kitts and Nevis at the Nevis Disaster Management Department’s conference room at Long Point on Tuesday for the Japan Grant Aid Project for Improving Disaster Resilience in Nevis.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and Contract Documents were signed Tuesday between Japan and Nevis at the Nevis Disaster Management Department’s conference room at Long Point for the Japan Grant Aid Project for Improving Disaster Resilience in Nevis, an agreement committing the parties toward that goal with the aid of USD $161,309.00 in grant funding from Japan.

“I would like to take this opportunity to assure you that the Nevis Disaster Management will do whatever it can in order to provide a successful implementation of this project,” Mr. Brian Dyer, Director of the Nevis Disaster Management Department (NDMD), said. “Our dedication and commitment will enable us to develop even stronger relationships and friendships between the peoples of Japan and Nevis.”

Mr. Dyer said the department had identified as risk areas around the island they had made significant steps in addressing.

“The department is the executing agency for ‘The Project for Improving Disaster Resilience in Nevis,’” he said.“This project entails the reconstruction of bridge and access road near Charlestown, [Nevis] Sixth Form College and Nevis Girls Guides Headquarters in Stoney Grove; installation of aluminium shutters at Cotton Ground and Pond Hill Community Centres; installation of 1000 gallon water tanks at the Cotton Ground and Pond Hill Community Centres; erection of official plates at all project sites; and Financial Audit at the end of all project activities.”

Mr. Dyer lauded the long-standing relationship between Japan and the NIA which has benefitted the NDMD in the past through several training programmes, equipment and grant donations for disaster supplies.

Mr. Dyer said the signing ceremony marks the completion of a sustained effort of collaboration among the staff of the Embassy of Japan, the Premier’s Ministry, the Ministry of Agriculture and the NDMD, but that building a resilient island cannot not be accomplished in the absence of supportive legislation in Disaster Risk Management, Volunteer and Volunteerism and Occupational Safety and Health, adding Nevis must “punch above its weight” if it is to become a beacon in the Caribbean in championing the cause for resilience.

“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone whose dedication and efforts have contributed to the finalization and approval of this project. In particular, I would like to thank Ms. Crystal Austin, Consultant for the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project (GGP), and her colleagues at the Embassy of Japan in Trinidad and Tobago. Their insights, goodwill and persistence have made the signing ceremony a reality,” he said.“I am confident that NDMD has the experience and the expertise to execute this project on time and within the stated budget,” he said.

Among those present at the ceremony were His Excellency Tatsua Hirayama, Japan Ambassador to St. Kitts and Nevis; Hon. Mark Brantley, Premier of Nevis and St. Kitts and Nevis’ Minister of Foreign Affairs; and Hon. Alexis Jeffers, Deputy Premier of Nevis and Minister of Disaster Management. The ceremony was chaired by Ms. Rhosyll Jeffers, Assistant Secretary responsible for Disaster Management.