As the risks of natural and man-made disasters increase globally, the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) has moved to reconstitute its Disaster Risk Reduction Coordination Platform (NDRRCP), which has been non-functional for almost two years.
The Platform is tasked with the reduction of the impacts of natural and man-made emergencies and disasters in Guyana through increased cooperation and collaboration among Disaster Risk Management actors.
Head of the CDC, Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig, explained that the Platform was formulated in 2010, but was inactive for over for 18 months (December 2014 to May 2016). An evaluation of the mechanism was conducted in 2015 and it was reactivated on May 6, 2016 by Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon, within whose purview the Commission falls. The last meeting of the Platform was held on July 12, 2017.
Lieutenant Colonel Craig noted that the reconstitution was needed since the previous functioning body was limited in its form and mode of operation in that it functioned mainly as an information sharing and reporting mechanism; had minimum results; lacked the capacity to influence ministries and agencies and had little to no evidence of developed and implemented national plans, strategies and policies to reduce and manage risk across the different sectors through the Platform intervention or leadership.
As a result, the reconstituted Platform now has a comprehensive three-tiered design which includes the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), which will spearhead the Plan of Action and recommendations and design and implement multi-sectoral projects and programmes and the Policy Advisory Committee (PAC), which is chaired by the Minister of State and will facilitate policy and legislative underpinnings for the realisation of the Plan of Actions and Recommendations of the TAC. The third component, which is the Secretariat, will be responsible for the alignment and communication between TAC and PLC, monitor, evaluate and follow up work of the NDRRCP and facilitate multi-sectoral tracking and reports.
It is envisioned that the reconstituted NDRRCP would help to strengthen national integrated Disaster Risk Reduction/Disaster Risk Management (DRR/DRM) mechanism, ensure designated responsibilities, cross sector collaboration and improved relevancy and functionality and effectively design, plan implement and monitor interventions, among other outcomes.
The Platform comprises representatives from the Ministry of Public Health, Guyana Defence Force, Guyana Red Cross Society, Ministry of Social Protection, Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission, Central Housing and Planning Authority, the Hydrometeorological Office and the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority, among others.