(PRESS RELEASE) – Saint Lucia Labour Party Leader Hon Philip J. Pierre has once again expressed condolences to the government and people of Dominica on the recent loss of lives and damage to property as a result of Hurricane Maria.
Hon Pierre firmly believes that based on the growing intensity and the expected increased frequency of storms coming to our region, the country must with urgency revamp the approach to tropical storm and hurricane preparedness.
Mr Pierre is of the view that the government must increase the annual budgetary allocation for storm preparedness and mitigation to reflect the new reality manifested in the recent experiences of our sister Caribbean islands. According to the SLP leader, “We cannot sit around hoping that our turn never comes. We must be proactive.”
The Opposition Leader says, “Beginning immediately, during this recent hurricane season, the relevant parties should in addition to existing hurricane preparedness efforts, move with urgency to address the following:
1) Pruning of trees near homes and buildings particularly in residential areas
2) Stockpiling of essential food and water
3) Review of generating capacity of electricity at hospitals and other state institutions
4) Strengthening of hurricane shelters
5) Review of standards relating to utility poles with a view of improving their ability to withstand heavier wind storms
Citizens of the island must also up their hurricane preparedness by:
1) Strengthening and reinforcement of roofs
2) Review of insurance coverage for buildings and contents
3) Review their individual hurricane plan”
Mr Pierre added that the Opposition is willing to work with the relevant authorities to advocate for the required changes in policy and approach to hurricane preparedness.