'We are ready!'
Jodi-Ann Gilpin, Gleaner Writer
RESIDENTS OF the GLENGOFFE community in St Catherine have said the community is prepared to combat major damage, should a disaster occur.
Members of the Glengoffe Community Development Committee told The Gleaner, following a tour of the community recently, that they have implemented several projects to protect the environment and its population over the years.
With a population of 5,626 residents, president of the committee, Rosevelt Lawrence noted that it is imperative that persons be proactive in protecting their surroundings and the most vulnerable.
"We have one of the best disaster preparedness plans because, for us, we have to ensure that we are self-reliant and so any time we have to take action, we are ready," he declared.
CENTRES IN PLACE
"We know every vulnerable person, whether it's the disabled and especially the children. We know where they live. Our centres are in place, health managers and disaster managers. Every person who can offer assistance, we have put them in place in a bid to ensure that we can assist in the mitigation process in our own way," he said.
Lawrence added, "When Hurricane Ivan came, in two weeks, the community was very clean. There was not even a paper on the ground. Every tree was cleaned up, every landslide was cleared because, as a community, we see the need to keep our surroundings clean."
They also sent a strong message to environment minister, Robert Pickersgill.
"As a country, we have to become more proactive. It cannot be that it has to take a crisis for us to act. As minister, you have to come out of your office, get out of your chair, speak with the farmers, speak with the communities," declared Lorna Hunter, public relations officer of the organisation.
"Being trained in the area or having a title alone will not yield solutions. We need to go on the ground," she continued.