ST.GEORGE, Grenada, April 14, - The Grenada government has declared a “localized disaster emergency” in St. John’s and St. Mark’s following Tuesday’s heavy rains, which left dozens of homes and business places damaged, roads blocked and a several fishing boats along the west coast destroyed.
The declaration followed the presentation of a preliminary report by the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) on the damage, to a special cabinet meeting on Thursday morning.
Prime Minister Tillman Thomas praised the resilience of the residents of St. John’s and St. Mark’s and expressed his admiration for the people from the surrounding areas who volunteered their time to assist in the clean-up effort in the areas affected.
“It is in the face of adversity and devastation that we stand together as one people. This show of support for those who are in a difficult situation characterizes what makes us Grenadian,” the prime minister said.
He promised ongoing “utmost attention” to the situation in the two west coast parishes. “We, as government, feel their pain and understand their distress,’’ he said.
The cabinet meeting agreed on several measures to help the affected parishes, including a decision to seek the assistance of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).
Government is hoping that the CDB, through its Disaster Risk Reduction Program, would be able address the causes of the flooding and help with the construction or repair of a slipway in St. Mark’s for fishermen to properly secure their boats.
The proposal to the CDB will also seek funding for the reconstruction of two bridges along the Lanse River, which overflowed its banks on Tuesday.
Additionally, cabinet has recognized the work of various ministries that are already working with the communities to determine the levels of assistance that are required in the recovery efforts.
Ministry of Works has been mandated, in collaboration with NADMA, to address all the infrastructural issues in the affected areas and to undertake an assessment of the damage. The joint Ministry of Works/NADMA report will form the basis for the proposal that will be sent to the CDB by Monday.
Cabinet has given its support to the Ministry of Health, which has prioritized efforts to assess all public health concerns, including public toilet facilities which were affected when the river broke its banks, as well as issues around rodent and vector control.
The Ministry of Housing’s management of its evaluation of the material needs of households whose residences were flooded or damaged has also been recognized; while the Ministry of the Environment has been encouraged to continue its monitoring of waste disposal and waste management in the parishes.
The Ministry of Social Development is addressing concerns among residents associated with the Day Care facilities in St. John’s.
In addition, cabinet has set up a committee, which met with the St. Mark’s and St. John’s residents who experienced flood losses on Saturday, April 16.
The committee comprises Minister of Works, Joseph Gilbert; Minister of Housing, Alleyne Walker; Junior Information Minister, Sen. Arley Gill; and Junior Foreign Minister, Sen. Dennoth Modeste.