Residents of Sea Cows Bay in the Third District were urged on Thursday to formulate a committee to mitigate against the community’s vulnerabilities in the face of a natural disaster.
Enhanced Vulnerability Capacity Assessment (EVCA) Officer, Anisha Brewley, made the call during the official handing over of the EVCA report at the Valerie O Thomas Community Centre in Sea Cows Bay.
Brewley said the community is prone to flooding and has seen an increase in the mosquito population since the hurricanes of 2017. One major cause to these problems is the presence of bulky waste, she noted.
Brewley further said that, with several homes still damaged following the 2017 disasters, residents are at risk in the event of another hurricane.
She said the BVI Red Cross would offer training and hurricane preparedness programmes in the community and would assist in installing traps in the ghuts and regular clean-up campaigns.
She, however, said: “We would love to form a committee within the community to help us ensure that these actions are carried out.”
Brewley stated that with the committee in place, the community can become more resilient.
The EVCA Report
Meanwhile, Volunteer Coordinator at the BVI Red Cross, Jaikarran Persaud, informed that the study started on August 12 2019. The assessment phase was done in August and September, and the report concluded in early January this year.
“This study was necessary because it helps the Red Cross in the event of a major natural disaster to become more prepared to respond to different communities. So all these reports go to our headquarters in Geneva and stored in a data bank so in the event of a major disaster there will be pre-existing data outlining the various hazards in these communities,” he told BVI News following the event.
He continued: “So after a disaster, they would not need to do initial assessments they would already have this information available which would make the initial response to that community faster. Everything the Red Cross does; it is for the benefit of the community. So we are trying to have communities take ownership of their communities and the responsibilities. It would just make more sense if people could contribute to their own recovery because they are the ones being affected.”
He said now that the BVI Red Cross had done its part, it is now left to residents to “help us to take action based on the risks.”