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Inadequate technical staff continues to be one of the major challenges facing the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO).
In its 2012 annual report which was published this week, NEMO pointed to several limitations to its operations due to the lack of trained technical staff in its various divisions. This includes the absence of an accounts clerk which in turn affects the efficiency of accounting processes, and insufficient information and communications technology (ICT) management and resources.
“Unfortunately the challenges to the programme of disaster management in Saint Lucia remain that of resourcing. Presently, the national programme is donor-funded, however the secretariat remains committed to dialogue with the Ministry of Finance to seek strategies to address this gap,” the report said.
According to the report, ICT staff is presently being sourced on an “as needed” basis from local service providers.
In proposing a way forward, the organization called for the appointment of an accounts clerk and other trained employees who will enhance NEMO’s work. In addition, a specific request was made for training for all administrative staff in as many disaster management activities as possible.
“It remains the hope that the (NEMO) Secretariat receives the human resources needed to take disaster management to the standards demanded by the people and government of Saint Lucia,” the report said.
The NEMO Secretariat was said to be in need of a social transformation officer, mass crowd event officer, business continuity officer, telecommunications officer and GIS specialist.
“A new injection of resources (human, financial, equipment) is needed that will sustain the work programme of the office for the next 20 years. Without this the disaster management programme of Saint Lucia and by extension the region, shall become stunted. Disaster management will need to be viewed within the frame work of sustainable development as a tool that can be used to strengthen every aspect of growth,” the report stated.