BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) officials are working to change a current practice that seems to be a demotivating factor for persons volunteering for national duty.
The issue was highlighted by an individual who called into the Leadership Matters Virtual Forum Series on July 21. The caller noted that he works within the private sector. Whenever he is called upon to attend a meeting or training concerning his volunteer duties it often means that his employer will not pay him for the time he is away from work.
“It is really difficult doing national duty and still losing pay,” he said, adding that the economic slowdown as a result of the coronavirus compounds matters.
National Disaster Coordinator, Abdias Samuel, noted that the issue would be addressed through the ongoing engagement with the St. Kitts and Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce.
“This is critical,” Mr. Samuel stated, noting the essential service provided by the volunteers. “When we are impacted (by a disaster) these are the individuals who respond quickly and help us to rebuild the country.”
St. Kitts and Nevis and other Caribbean countries are in the midst of the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Forecasters expect an above-average season. The hurricane season started on June 1 and runs to November 30.