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Dawes urges businesses to examine natural disaster vulnerability

Published:Tuesday | August 15, 2017 | 12:00 AMHorace Fisher
Dr. Winston Dawes

With the business community still counting its losses from the devastating May's flood rains, president of the Clarendon Chamber of Commerce, Dr Winston Dawes, is urging businesses to undertake vulnerabilities assessment to mitigate against any potential natural disaster, including flooding.

The chamber president, who was speaking against the backdrop of a forecasted active hurricane season, said businesses in central Jamaica and elsewhere suffered, and, in several ways, including equipment and physical damage.




"Our businesses were severely impacted by the flood rains and as we speak, the forecasters have warned of an active hurricane season, which can have the potential to cause a repeat of the horrible situation we experienced in May," lamented Dawes.

"So as businesses, we definitely can't afford another devastation. Therefore, I am urging my fellow colleagues to do an immediate vulnerability assessment of their businesses to determine the level of vulnerability to natural disasters."

He noted that the response to mitigation from flooding is nonetheless limited, given that companies have no control over what he calls the underlying external contributing factors.

"We can do so much and no more. Even by assessing our vulnerabilities, erecting flood barriers and so on, the majority of the problem lies with the municipal and law enforcement authorities," he insisted.

"The municipal council must ensure that the drains are properly cleaned and doesn't pose a threat to our livelihood. On the other hand, it is the duty of the police to persecute litterbugs who would otherwise dump garbage in the drainage system."

The general practitioner and sport medicine specialist is also calling for a general overall of the country's derelict infrastructures. He argues that half-a-century of development has vastly outgrown critical infrastructure, including the drainage systems.