As the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia prepared to sign an agreement with the Japanese Government for a Grant for the reconstruction of bridges in the Cul De Sac basin he stressed that the policy and strategy of Government as it pertains to Climate Change and the impact it is having on the island’s infrastructure has been and will continue to be a top priority.
At the brief ceremony for the Exchange of Notes for the Japanese Grant Aid for the Ravine Poisson and Cul de Sac Bridges held at the Office of the Prime Minister on Wednesday August 9th 2017, Prime Minister Honourable Allen Chastanet took the audience through some of the challenges faced by Small Island Developing States (SIDS) such as Saint Lucia.
Also in attendance at the signing was Minister for Infrastructure, Ports, Energy and Labour Honourable Stephenson King and Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, Physical Planning, Natural Resources and Co-operatives Honourable Ezechiel Joseph along with Ministry officials and members of the Japanese delegation.
Speaking first at the signing was Permanent Secretary in the Department of Infrastructure, Ports and Energy Mr. Ivor Daniel, who gave an overview, explaining that the project is in-keeping with the National Hazard Mitigation Policy, which aims to reduce the country’s vulnerability to natural hazards and the impact of climate change.
Also speaking at the event was His Excellency Mitsuhiko Okada, Ambassador of Japan to Saint Lucia, who outlined Japan’s areas of cooperation with Saint Lucia which included disaster risk reduction, sustainable management of marine life and human security.
The assistance is being channelled through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and that organization’s director general for Latin America and the Caribbean, Mr. Hajime Takeuchi, also delivered remarks at the event about the significant contributions made to assist not just Saint Lucia but the region.
For the reconstruction of the much-needed bridges Japan is contributing XCD$37 Million.
In his remarks Prime Minister Allen Chastanet repeatedly thanked the Japanese for the Grant for the bridges which are expected to commence in early 2018.
He explained that on the world stage more developed countries needed to assist the SIDS in the quest to combat the effects of Climate Chang