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SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2011 email@example.com THE OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER OF THE GOVERNMENT OF SAINT LUCIA FREE Fellow Sa int Lucians, as we observe the first an niversary of the passage of Hurricane Tomas we pause lessons learned from this dev astating Hurricane one year ago. Tomas was easily the biggest natural disaster in our modern history and while it left 7 people dead and 5 unaccounted for or missing, many injured and many more torn away from their normal lives, it also reminded us of the outstanding character of the St Lucian citizen, especially when the chips are down in times of adversity. looked out for each other, stood up for each other, assisted each other; shared acts of kindness with each other and committed themselves to the speedy recovery of their beloved country, it is easy to forget the huge challenge of reconstruction that Tomas left with us on October 31st 2011. ers and sisters whose peace was turned to turmoil in the ravag es of Tomas now rest in peace with souls of the faithfully departed. They lost their lives in a rare display of Natures wrath. We mourned with their families and friends; with the entire nation; with the people of the world who understand and appreciate how powerless we are when Mother Earth decides to send her children into the unknown. Continued on page 2
Page 2 Saturday November 5, 2011 Continued from page 1 stirred us all, throughout the length and breadth of St Lucia, to come together as one people and one nation, under the guiding hand of a higher power. It was at that time our blessings and to recognize that there is nothing so wrong about us that cannot be changed for the better, by what is right about us. We are good, loving, positive people who want the best for each other. hose moments of truth, angry winds of Tomas brought us to our knees, we embraced the ties that bind us together as part of the human family in this piece of paradise we proudly call home. Day of Remembrance, I salute the heroes of our recovery from widespread destruction the courageous people of this land, who spared no do for the causes that needed their assistance and against the threats ADDRESS TO THE NATION ON THE 1ST ANNIVERSARY OF THE PASSAGE OF HURRICANE TOMAS By Honourable Stephenson King Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Economic Affairs and National Developmentof looming failure in the distance. disaster that brought new meaning to our lives forever. damage to the physical, social and economic infrastructure of our Island, underlined the complexity and enormity of the challenge to rebuild. This was by far, one of the worst disasters to have struck this nation. the hardest hit areas bridges collapsed main source of water, was disabled vices were severely disrupted doors their way back home as St Lucians struggled to repair their damaged properties and bring their lives back to normal South, it was a steep climb back from the brink of near total disaster. to be done, but quite a lot to smile about. 2010 a Sunday. The nation tried to catch its breath on Monday 1st November, and by Tuesday, 2nd business. services were back up and in quick time; and the restoration of the water service, initially estimated to take six months was bridges went back into use land were cleared in record time docked on Sunday November 7th, exactly one week after the storm with supplies of water for a nation that was without its main source of potable water. many things that the government and people of St Lucia have had to do together, in the cause of bringing relief and comfort to those in need and bringing the nation back to full menced on the Million dollar hous ing investment in Mocha, Fond St in that part of the island. Work will also begin soon in restoring some de Lisle, after extensive investigative and assessment works and detailed and tedious procurement processes. These works will be undertaken with funding from the Government of Saint Lucia. Work ing, as we continue negotiations tackle the remaining seven (7) sites at Tomas rav damage, at a time when we were grappling with the economic fallout around the world, caused by the ancial markets. one million tourists visited St Lucia and our record breaking stay over numbers drove a 30% increase in visitor spending which reached the one-point-five billion dollar Tomas, we were on course for a truly incredible year of tourism performance. our November 2010 numbers down by 36 percent and December 2010 hese setbacks, Saint Lucia emerged as the largest econeconomic performer in the Eastern was the largest contributor to foreign exchange earnings in the with a smaller debt burden than vis. how very well we have performed in extremely challenging circum stances, but how much further we would have been in our economic development journey, if we had not been so adversely impacted by Tomas. given us the opportunity to review critical aspects of our infrastruc ture development and to make critical design and implementation changes for more lasting success. clutches of a global ec onomic crisis, under the devastation of a killer storm, your government remained the peoples determination to win; their desire to celebrate the success of their work together; and their need to give thanks and praise for an abundance of blessings. We thank the many donors lo cally and overseas who came to our assistance in this time of great need. We thank the Ministers of Government; the members of Parliament; the members of the clergy; the leaders of civil society; the law enforcement agencies; the private sector, utility companies; the many volunteers; those who took our message to the world via traditional and news media platforms; and all those who in one way or another helped our nation to be where it is today. Tomas has left us with the im capacity for outstanding human de velopment results even in the worst of times. One year later, that lesson of triumph in adversity, shines a bright light of hope for a future of greater prosperity and progress for all. I ThaThe fateful day was October 31, 2010 a Sunday. The nation tried to catch its breath on Monday 1st November, and by Tuesday, 2nd November, Castries was open for business. REMEMBERING TOMAS
Page 3 Saturday November 5, 2011 round St Lucia today there is still visible evidence of the havoc wreaked on the islands infrastructure by Hurricane Tomas, but thanks to the prompt and ongoing action of the government the inconveniences being suffered by the population are minimal and for the overwhelming majority, life is comfortable again. highways and roads, bridges and buildings and major installations in all of the damages experienced were as a result of landslide action (mass slope movement), river bed erosion or river sedimentation. The initial estimate of damages was put at a sector and the population at large, normalcy is returning while work infrastructure to where it was before the hurricane. Tomas provided St. Lucia with a wake-up call and a great opportunity that modernization comes at a huge cost and the funding has to come from international agencies such a long and detailed process and this government agencies needing those funds to execute the project. Recovering from Hurricane Tomas Assessment of Work on the Nations Infrastructureaccommodates more than 20,000 vehicles daily, highlighting its sig administrative capital and the northern tourism/commercial belt, where nearly half of the population resides. ensuring that the soon-to-commence repairs to two bridges linking that highway be done methodically and bridges were erected which today handle all the traffic commuting between the two points. ment bridges is in an advanced stage and drawn out funding procedures are being meticulously followed for the construction of a pair of bridges that are designed to last well into the middle of this century. to be reconstructed work has begun on a bypass which necting with the main road next to integrate seamlessly into the main highway. It will involve the con struction of four culverts and one bridge which will replace the present make-shift culvert crossing next to will be built to accommodate heavy foot containers. is dOrange bypass is ex pected to be completed in six months time with construction on the main bridge to begin immediately after. The and also involve a bypass road to the south of the current location. When completed both bridges will be stronger, able to handle another storm like Hurricane Tomas and contain all the protective fe atures of modern bridges. link between the north and east of landslides that seriously impacted the integrity of the road. The southern experienced ten failure sites which ing it to as been taken to stabilize and check some of these slides. Fund of geotechnical investigations, pre liminary and detailed designs, project documentation and meticulous fund ing conditions is involved prior to the actual commencement of works.ith extreme care The m agnitude of the damage and thorough planning, and the iden tification of engineering solutions that are sound and long lasting. The process of securing funding is at an advanced stage. The work involves the stabilisation of landslide sites, the construction of massive retain ing structures, the realignment of the road in some areas and actual road construction. has completed work on major culverts on the east and west coasts. During Tomas, the north of the island was after aging culverts on the main link roads failed. their lifespan were located at Mon Repos and Troumassee on the east the west coast. These culverts made out of metal pipes became corroded and were undermined by the waters of Tomas. The metal culverts were unable to withstand the volumes of water and debris which came from the islands interior and so that a portion of the road was completely washed away. in Soufriere which was destroyed gered by Hurricane Tomas has been restored with residents who live in the upper reaches having a safe crossing over the main river which runs through the community. The original bridge was swept away and lodged almost 200 yards away from its location. It was replaced temporar ily but had to be taken out of service as damage sustained during the hurricane made it structurally unsound. The replacement bridge is as good as new and able to accommodate goods vehicles, mini-buses and pick-up vans with farmers produce. ing and the realignment of the main river. The original road access to the Sulphur Springs is currently receivon that access road made the Sulphur Springs inaccessible. These have since been cleared but damage to the road structure itself has made it unsafe for the scores of local and tourist vehicles which visit the Sulphur Springs daily. remedial works to begin shortly. It will involve the construction of retaining structures on the landslide sites to trap further slides (on the up-slopes of the road and retaining walls on the down-slope) to ensure its integrity. Once these retaining structures on the four landslides have been completed, work will begin on paving the main access road into the Sulphur Springs. the rebuilding and restoration pro cess that is still underway, its focus will be on creating a stronger and more resilient infrastructure. That process is underway. Meanwhile, the g overnment is preparing to undertake the physical component of major reconstruction the preparation for these works has been the conduct of various risk assessment and geotechnical studies. The aim is that all post-hurricane Tomas works will be guided by geotechnical reports and guidelines to minimize the impact of future natural disasters. Government believes these are critical as they will give of work to be done in a number of be undertaken in that region for which the process of commissioning a consultant is currently underway. Geotechnical investigations will also be conducted ahead of works in dOrange bridges. tender has gone out for this project, signalling the commencement of the procurement process. every road or bridge that has been restored and repaired, every land slide that has been cleared, or every community that has had its most of the disruption caused by Hurricane Tomas but St Lucians recognize that the government, through Ministry of in ensuring that the infrastructural services and systems that are crucial to their everyday lives are again func The Mi nis try of Social Trans plays the lead role in the social development of Saint Lucia, through its community development activities and other critical interventions. Still reeling from the impact of Hurricane Tomas, the Ministry was able to inter vene in the communities quite aptly in providing psycho-social support to traumatized families, with special focus on the children, through the Return to Happiness Programme. turn to Happiness Programme are to engender a decrease in the number and frequency of stressrelated symp -The Return to Happiness Programme Post Hurricane Tomas Intervention by Ministry of Social Transformation in toms in children and to ultimately improve self-esteem, a sense of protection and security for the future. 2010, approxi mately 70 local volunteers including teachers, community leaders and in a Train the Tra iners Workshop which was conducted by facilitators from Grenada, Dominica and St. lowing their respective experience with past hurricanes. Immediately following the train ing, the volunteers went right to work from the communities of Forrestiere, which were some of the communi ties most impacted by Hurricane Tomas. Through the Return to Happiness programme, a safe space was created for children to colour, draw, and play in small groups. The trained volunteers were able to use these techniques as well as the use of modeling clay to get the children to describe their lives before and after the disaster and the use of puppets to tell stories of what they went th rough. try began its recov ery process, the teachers who had received training were also able to identify additional children at their respective schools, who required psychosocial support and were able to intervene appropriately. To date, as we commemorate the first anniversary of the passing of Hurricane Tomas, the Ministry is pleased to report that the Return to Happiness programme was a success and for the most part, children have regained a sense of normalcy. The Ministry therefore takes this opportunity to applaud all volunteers for their eagerness in providing support to the children who were impacted by Hurricane Tomas. The Ministry is also pleased to under the Return to Happiness pro gramme. Saint Lucia is now equipped with a cadre of volunteers ideally trained for intervening in cases where children experience traumatic events. Children participating in one of the activities of the return to happiness program
Page 4 Saturday November 5, 2011 NEMO Remembers. Hurricane Tomas core of Saint Lucia. it moved through the Windward Islands and passed just south of Saint Lucia. shear and dry air. Tomas later regained hurricane status. killed, 7 of whom were in Saint Lucia. Monetary losses throughout the Windward from the list. In 2016, Tobias will replace Tomas. Shopping List: c
Page 5 Saturday November 5, 2011 One year after Hurricane To mas devastated the island, tinues to provide support to persons approximately 12,000 households benefited from the distribution of emergency relief, and another 10,000 from water distribution following the passage of the storm.. Schools and other agencies including the governthe distribution of water. pact, 25 families became immediate homes, thanks to the intervention of project is being undertaken by the are constructed under this project will be equipped with water harvesting systems. In observance of the first anni versary of Hurricane Tomas, the St was conducted by the International Dennery Floods of 2010. The study also presents an understanding of the role of the community-based approach to disaster management by evaluating the role of the community disaster impact of Hurricane Tomas. The St Lucia based approach to disaster manage ment is founded on the theory that disasters can strike without warning, and that emergency response teams may not be available to provide assistance to communities immediately following a disaster, due to lack of access and communication. The three major steps of the community based approach to disaster management include, and capacity assessment) of the community, community-based mitigation projects to reduce the possible impact of existing hazards within the community and the provision of disaster response raincoats, ropes and boots. case study was limited to in-depth interviews and focus group discus sions with key stakeholders in disas ter management including NEMO, members of the community disaster emphasized the value of communitybased approach to disaster response, especially in the community of Fondage was done during the passage of Hurricane Tomas. The community is accessed via the from the rest of Soufriere and the rest of the island, which has happened in the past due to major landslides. The fact that a river runs through the entire community provides a constant source of water but also increases the risk of floods during heavy rains, in a watershed area. One member of the community response team commented: We have this one main river and all the roads cross that river at some point, so if the bridges are blocked or damaged, we are marooned. We are blessed with the water, but the downside is rains falling. proximity to the Soufriere volcano, this is not perceived as a major threat to community members who, above all, share a collective memory of destructive tropical storms, hurricanes munity and isolating it from the rest of the island. es was selected community meetings, members of the potential risks and vulnerabilities and actions to be taken to transform those vulnerabilities into capacities. Many of these same community members were trained as members of the Fond They felt that the community response team training was not just valuable but necessary in light of their past experiences with storms and their extreme vulnerability to isolation. turday, October 30, Hurricane Tomas brought severe wind and rains to the island of Saint number of communities in the counimpossible as a result. On Sunday, initiated its relief operations. On the same day, the government of Saint Lucia declared a state of emerg ency. In the wake of the storm, wide spread devastation to crops, homes and water supplies was apparent, and communities remained isolated. In the early morning of October 31 a massive landslide brought water, trees and mud rushing down from the mountains and through the commu nity, destroying homes in its path as well as a critical bridge that allows ac cess between the two sides of the com munity, which is split by the river. the community response team had launched its own response. One team fair idea of what was expected of us and did what we could in turns, and certain areas to take care of. members did what they could to account for and assist neighbours before initiating treks through precarious terrain to reach their central meeting which also served as the storage area for the teams equipment. o one team mem got out, thanks to the daylight, we braved, those of us who could. We reached out to those close by. It was not possible to get to everybody. The rivers were up. In fact, all of us at some point could not get to some body else, but as much as possible, we tried to use whatever track there was to come together and we tried to mobilize even persons who were willing as volunteers, and got the supplies out because we had to get very dangerous. It took the team leader until dusk to reach the other members, including their appointed team information ofmunity response team members out roles. The team worked together for days and weeks, operating out of the nity shelter they had established in the nearby church, a site that had been In the initi al hours and days one worker traversed much of the damaged terrain making assessments and noting With the help of others, he secured mul tiple rope lines across the river in order to evacuate persons in vulnerable situations and to allow other community members a safe passageway. The community response team member worked response equipment, but also recom mended that more specialized equipment, such as stretchers, be added to the disaster response kit for evacuation of older persons, persons with physical challenges and expectant mothers in life-threatening situations in hazardous terrain. Two other community response team members began a slow journey down to Soufriere to notify government authorities of the deaths and the damage sustained. The national statistics note that the landslide took the lives members. training, managed the shelter, which housed upwards of 300 community munity response team member as sumed the responsibility of cooking for the persons housed in the shelter, while another member coordinated the logistics, serving as the store man ager from the outset, rationing and distributing supplies as they came in. h the community response team members had convened prior to Hurricane Tomas making landfall to trace its movements via radio bulletins, organize themselves and prepare for the potential impacts of anticipated such challenging circum stances but agreed that the training they received helped them to manage ties they encountered.Fond St. Jacques Community Disaster Response In Action the task of restoration and rehabilitation of St. Lucia in the after math of Hurricane Tomas. Each Ministry of government will have its own list of outstanding persons who rose to the challenges and performed yeoman service for the country and its people in this time of crisis. put up the following list of nominees for national recognition for Soufriere 1. patients 2. Was on call for one continuous week 3. Provided four consecutive days of service without going home s Handyman Provided four consecutive days of service Fond St. Jacques 5. aftermath 6. aftermath 7. aftermath Mobilized the immediate environmental assessment and safe water management Health Educator with managing public health conditions. Dennery 10. Facilitated in the relocation of services and mobilization of resources 11. On duty during the storm and managed the care of the injured 12. Handyman On duty during the storm and supported the movement of patients 13. Handyman On duty during the storm and supported the movement of patients La Ressource 15. Private Physician Ministry of Health Recognizes those who
Page 7 Saturday November 5, 2011 Page 6 Saturday November 5, 2011 Anse Galet Troumassee #2 Anse Galet Troumassee #2 Mon Repos Completed Troumassee #1 Completed FOND ST. JACQUES BAILEY BRIDGE Troumassee #2 Completed RECOVERING FROM HURRICANE TOMAS Anse Galet Troumassee Fond St. Jacques Bailey Bridge Bois dOrgane Bridge Mon Repos Road Completed Choc Bridge Troumassee Road Completed
Page 8 Saturday November 5, 2011 Hurricane Tomas struck St. Lucia between the early hours of Saturday, October 30 and the mid-morning of Sunday, October 31, 2010. By the time it dumped several inches of rain caus sive landslides, and widespread damage to residences, commercial buildings. The transportation, water, and communications infrastructure, as well as the agricultural as well. LUCELECs transmission and distribution network also took a beating, forcing a total shut down of the power system. Beyond the hundreds of poles and miles of distribution lines that lay on the ground, a section of the 66 kilovolt transmission line on the west coast was damaged when two transmission towers were compromised in a major landslide, with one tower being completely buried. As well, with up to four feet of water. However, within hours of the all clear some communities had been reconnected. Within one week of the hurricane, LUCELEC had energised more than 95% of the system, with full restoration achieved within 16 days, except for the community of Fond St. Jacques which was under a Government evacuation order. Fond St. Jacques was re-energised on January 16, 2011, immediately the evacuation order was lifted. The success of the restoration process can be attributed to the system design, LUCELECs prepafor such disasters, the availability of resources within the company, and a work ethic that emphasises team work, responsibility and pride. LUCELECs network is designed ibility in its configuration. This allows damaged sections of the system to be isolated whilst other sections were restored, and to feed electricity to communities via sevPreparation w as key. LUCE LECs All Hazards Preparedness Plan provides guidelines with clear roles for everyone and for restoration of the electricity supply after a disaster. With respect to hurricanes, there are 2-man teams responsible for inspecting various feeders before the start of a hurricane season and immediately after a storm, which encourages ownership and accountability. Inspections begin immediately after the all clear is given to assess the extent of damage with a view to prioritizing areas to be restored. In this instance, the use of a helicopter sped up the process. are fed into the Control Centre and the priorities est ablished. Hospitals LUCELEC Response to Hurricane Tomas Rated First Worldand emergency services are generally top of the list. The approach adopted in restoring the system tions and then restore all sections re-energized, making use of the redundancy in the system. The support services also play a critical role. For example, the Purchasing and Stores department, en sures the Company is fully stocked with materials to facilitate repairs to the system. Other teams include Meals and Welfare to ensure that the various locations are provided the large volume of calls from the public about damage to electricity infrastructure; and Public Informa tion to liaise with the media and provide regular updates on the Not to be underestimated in all and contractors, some of whom have been involved in such restora tion works all over the Caribbean dating back to the late 80s. Also, the commitment and solutionoriented thinking of the entire team days following Tomas. An excellent example of this was the decision to get equipment into Soufriere by barge, as access by road was impos sible due to major landslides. And so, for the people of Soufriere who probably took the worst hit from Tomas and who did not expect to have power back for weeks, it was a huge psychological boost when the LUCELEC crews accompanied by earth moving and other equipment arrived by barge on the evening of the third day after the storm, and had restored power to sections of the town by the following evening. Of course, the Companys fi nancial viability was critical. It allowed for the stocking of spares and other supplies at the start of the hurricane season and for the company to pay for equipment and services required. Being a forwardthinking company also helped. The establishment of a self-insurance fund a couple years ago ensured that LUCELEC was able to cover the expenses associated with the had been set aside for that purpose. Another factor that contributed contractors all over the island, in every community. That was a bonus given the degree of isolation caused by road closures. Some of even if they could not physically get to our Control Centre. Overall, it w as an outstanding dedicated and highly motivated to rise above hardship throughout ficult conditions, with everyone contributing their ideas and strategizing to make things happen. from understanding LUCELECs responsibility to the country, from its successes in the past, and from constantly measuring and evalu ating our performance against contractors and others involved cial awards ceremony in January. One year on, looking back on the aftermath of Tomas and the impact on the electricity network, weve seen a slight dip in our reliability. Consider this, the last system shutdown before Hurricane Tomas was more than three years prior. In the six months immediately following Tomas, the island experienced three system shutdowns where the entire island was without power, albeit of these, during the month of November last year was clearly related its way into one of the switch gears in the Generating plant. The other two involved the failure of lighting arrestors, which were very likely associated with stresses resulting from Tomas. Nonetheless, system improvements during the course of the year have helped to maintain reliability at fairly high s tandards. There were also a few valuable lessons learnt from the experience. Among the important ones were the need for a better system for managing the large volume of calls from the public and the need for increased water storage capacity at the Cul De Sac Power Plant. Steps to address both of these issues have been initiated. restoration effort proved that LUCELEC had the capacity to excel in a crisis and in many ways provided a psycho logical lift for the entire country at a time when it was most need ed.Within one week of the hurricane, LUCELEC had energised more than 95% of the system, with full restoration achieved within 16 days, except for the community of Fond St. Jacques which was under a Government evacuation order. Fond St. Jacques was re-energised on January 16, 2011, immediately the evacuation order was lifted. Replanting pole at Bexon Power Restoration work in Soufriere Rebuilding transmission and distribution lines near Rabot Estate in Soufriere LUCELEC contractors at work in Bexon Barge being loaded for Soufriere
Page 9 Saturday November 5, 2011Work on the restoration of St Lucias water system is still ongoing one year after Hurricane Tomas. COs system took a pounding from the hurricane with the major storage supplies, like the John Compton Dam, suffering severe damage. Today, while most of the islands consumers are receiving a reliable supply, there are still areas like Dennery and parts of the south (Vieux Fort Laborie and the environs) where restoration work is still in progress. Consultant Mr Clinton Reynolds told the NATIONAL REVIEW this week that the company was sparsystem was fully back to normal, but he pointed out that there were challenges. One major challenge is in the south, Reynolds said, where in the course of trying to restore the service, we have had to shut down the system every time it rains because of turbidity. up to the challenges posed by HurricaneTomas to the point where within two months of the disaster, the company was able to announce that its water supply had been restored to more than 90 percent of the island. But Managing Director John Joseph was quick to make the point that the restoration of the municipal supply did not mean that WASCO Recovery EffortSurmounting the Challengeshouseholders or the corporate sector should relax their responsibility of ensuring that there was clean wa ter stored in reasonable quantities. So serious was the situation in the immediate aftermath of the hurricane that the government was forced to declare a water related emergency as the islands main water source the John Compton Dam, remained inaccessible as a result of a landslide in the area. already been declared, the wa nouncement in light of the implica tions for the island, which was then under threat of a dwindling water supply. The Ministry of Health issued strict sanitary protocols for use of water including boiling before drinking, washing of hands before food preparation and con sumption, and most importantly conservation of current supplies. gency declaration allowed law enforcement authorities to stop residents from using water for purposes such as watering lawns, than a week after Tomas passage, WASCO had restored the water supply to some parts of Babonneau, Anse la Raye, Dennery and Vieux Fort. Crews had repaired all breaks at the Chassin intake that supply the Hill 20 production facility.This good news followed the completion of work at the Talvern, Des Rameaux, Anse la Verdue, Thomazo and Beausejour, Vieux Fort intakes but high levels of turbidity at the Ravine Poisson intake rendered with most of the remedial work undertaken there being washed away by the river. of its resources to the John Compton Dam and Vanard. Crews from the Ministry of Communications and Works assisted the WASCO team at the Vanard site, working round the clock to get the system back on line as quickly as pos sible while WASCO continued to get assistance from regional and international partners in that started to refurbish two control panels at the John Compton Dam. The team landed on site, Saturday, November 6, 2010 and worked closely with Lucelec to reinstall the panels to operate two pumps at the dam. At the Venus Estate in Anse la Raye and Errard, Estate, Dennery, high river levels hampered piping, desilting and other clearing work, but crews continued to make steady progress in clearing access roads, laying pipes, and desilting water intakes in other parts of the island and WASCO continued to face the problem of resilting as more landslides occurred. WASCO revealed that it had been able to partially or fully restore a steady supply of potable water to several communities on the southwestern and eastern regions of the country, while six portable water tanks had been installed in the com munity of Micoud which had been without pipe-borne water since the passage of Tomas. The communi ties of Vieux-Fort and Laborie also began to receive a steadier water supply as repairs at the Grace intake allowed WASCO to increase the volume of water produced to 1.2 million gallons per day to supplement the 400, 000 gallons per day from Beause jour, Vieux Fort. echnical experts from Trinidad developed a new design for the plant there. TiRocher and Desruisseaux were soon back to normal, although the water had to be rationed between the two communities. Landslides caused by continuing rain posed major challenges to crews and in Anse la Raye, clogs in the system necessitated a shut down of the supply to the community to allow crews to de-silt the intake and unblock the clogs. end of January 2011, WASCO shut down the supply to the north of the island temporarily to facilitate multiple repairs on the 24inch raw water line from the dam to the Teddy Theobalds Treatment Plant in Ciceron. The repair work increased the supply of water to the north of the island. In the months since then, small improvements in service have been recorded everywhere as WASCOs crews stayed on the job of restoration. however, WASCO received a tre mendous vote of lier in the year in the form of the governments support of, and commitment to the companys new strategic direction. Top company Cabinet, outlined a vision for WAS CO that would allow the company years. Following the presentation, the Cabinet declared its support for making WASCO a priority in the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for 2011/2012. John Joseph said the company was very encouraged by the public pronouncements by the Prime Minister during the presentation of 2011/2012 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure. He said this kind of support from the companys sole shareholder would enable WASCO to become viable and provide a bet ter service to its customers. WASCOs manage ment and ister Stephenson Kings inclusion of WASCO in the 2011/2012 Budget, company as a priority area in the said. We are very happy that the Prime Minister has given the full commitment of his government to WASCOs new strategic direction. provided by Prime Minister King, WASCO can now look forward to the future with renewed hope.
Saturday November 5, 2011 Page 10 It is a credit to the dedication of the health care professionals in the Ministry of Health and to the health status of the population of Saint Lucia that no major illness es or epidemics emerged following the passage of Hurricane Tomas. ealth reported that the human resource capacity in the primary health care service at the time was inadequate to meet health care needs post-Tomas. It concluded that while persons of higher income might be able to seek health care in the private sector, lower income families needs might have to be postponed or go unmet to health facilities created by Hurricane Tomas. In addition, the report noted that Saint Lucians were without pipe-borne water for ap proximately two weeks and many were forced to seek water from rivers, streams and other sources. The supply of bottled water on the island was quickly depleted as persons with greater purchas ing power were able to buy water in greater quantities, while those of lower economic status sought alternative water sources sooner unterparts. increase in the numbers of cases of tiated fever in weeks 41-42 of 2010 compared to the same period in 2009. The gastroenteritis and undif ferentiated fever were placed in the epidemic area of endemic level. A light increase in gastroenteritis was Restoring the Health Sector-Update and Projectionsanticipated in the following weeks particularly when school reopened, and the ministry sought to counter such with an increased public education campaign. Thomas, assessments revealed that Ministry of Healths facilities were tion, secondary to flooding. The Dennery Hospital, however, suf fered major structural damage and consequently, services had to be relocated. Additionally, the services of the Soufriere Hospital were temporarily relocated due to in-access to the facility as a result of damage primary health facilities (Etangs, Jacmel and Entrepot) which were Tomas were assessed and costed for major renovation. Tender submissions for the renovation of these are currently being evaluated. Implementation is expected to start soon under the World Banks Post Hurricane Tomas Disaster Recovery Project. delivery of critical health services became an issue for the health facili ties. In response, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, funded the installation of this challenge. This served to en hance the resilience of the facilities to respond to potential disasters, particularly in the event of water shortage. ricane Tomas, a rapid assessment was conducted to determine the priority environmental health issues which warranted atten tion in the immediate to medium term. That determination was made based on the potential for risks to public health from disease outbreaks, as a result of conditions emanating in the aftermath of the disaster. The following issues were prioritized: 1. Safety of water sources. 2. Food Safety. 3. Management of Emergency Shelters. 4. Vector Control. 5. Solid Waste Management. Several of the municipal water supply systems were interrupted due to structural damage and sedimentation. A large proportion of the population was exposed to contami nated water sources which elevated the risk of gastro-intestinal diseases, leptospirosis and schistosomaisis. Following surveillance which in dicated the sources where many people were abstracting water, public announcements were made via the mass media advising people to boil or disinfect all water intended for drinking, bathing or cleaning. A proposal has subsequently been ect which will enhance surveillance for the disease and its host.tion tablets (Pur) were distributed throughout the country through the health centres. Two water from Operation Blessing and following consultation with WASCO, were installed in the Canaries and Desruisseaux communities which were the hardest hit communities by water shortages. These units continue to operate in these communities producing 10,000 gallons of potable water daily in each community. water at food-handling establish ments posed a serious public health issue. Many restaurants did not have adequate water storage capac a sanitary food operation. Routine monitoring and surveillance ac tivities were implemented to ensure safe food preparation. mental Health also continued the monitoring and bacteriological testing of springs which were being utilized by a large number of people. Through its monitoring and control activities, the Department also played a pivotal role in manag ing the quality of water which was being imported into the island and ensuring that safe water quality standards were maintained. (40) cases of dengue fever had been reported for the year. With the shortage of water, it was expected that water storage at household premises would increase, result ing in increased breeding grounds for mosquitoes, particularly the dengue fever mosquito. Thus, there was an increased threat from dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever. also an obvious de cline in the consistency and ef fectiveness of the refuse collection service which resulted in the pileup of refuse on the roadside in several communities. The situation caused the proliferation of rodents and concomitantly, the incidence of leptospirosis. The Ministry of Health embarked on an islandwide clean-up campaign to control mosquito breeding in and around household premises. The Ministry of Health has also embarked on an extensive larviciding and adulticid ing (fogging) campaign intended to destroy the adult and aquatic stages of the mosquito. is looking fo rward to the com mencement of work towards the renovation of the old building which housed the Dennery Hos pital. Following that renovation some medical services will be temporarily stationed at that site as a temporary measure pending completion of the new Dennery Polyclinic. Renovation of the Soufriere Hospital and the relocation of the Victoria Hospital to the new National Hospital also form part of the short-term plans for the national health infrastructure.Early notification from the Meteorological Services De partment signaled a weather system approaching Saint Lucia. It started as a tropical depression but quickly developed into a tropical wave, and no sooner did we start preparation, it was upgraded to a storm and, late Friday night, was Hurricane Tomas. A category one hurricane, we felt was not suppose that Tomas had its own plan, and on Saturday, October 30, 2010, the rains came pouring down with high wind gusts lasting twenty four hours. The Director of Meteorological Services kept in touch, providing updates on the system. While I hoped he would give good news, he said, PS, Im calling to give you bad news, the system is stationed on Saint Lucia and drifting away quite slowly. Other members of the management team kept in touch while we strategized on our approach for the next day. We had a few dress rehearsals previously, had an idea of our strategy. However, what greeted us the next day was unbelievable! Some of our main bridges, Bois DOrange, Choc, and Cresslands were completely severed. Culverts which connected the East Coast Road at Mon Repos and Troumas see were washed away. Every mountain was scared with mud slides, some much larger than others such as Barre dIsle, Guesneau, gny, Ti Rocher (Castries), Bagatelle, Sulphur Springs, Debarras, Plato. Bexon, Marc, Deglos, Dennery, Fond St Jacques and Soufriere got residents and bus inesses displaced. What seemed initially an insur mountable task for the Ministry turned out t were ready and waiting to get to work. We had a country to restore and everyone put purpose before came from private engineers pledgformer Chief Engineers stood out. Without communicating with each other, Jude Regis headed for the West Coast while Gilbert Fontenard took the East Coast. On foot, Fontenard braved through the Barre dIsle and walk down to the south of the island providing updates on the condition of the road infrastructure. Regis on the other hand kept the Command Centre abreast of the status of the West Coast. Working together with the Technical Team headed by the Chief Engineer with the able as sistance of his Deputy, restoration work started in earnest to ensure that all road accesses were free of obstruction for emergency response. The Koudmen spirit of Saint Lucia came alive through the collaboration of equipment operators, contractors, engineers, engineering assistants, technicians, volunteers and adminis out to WASCO to assist in restoring the water system which was done in a record two weeks. The Electrical Team also engaged in inspections of all electrical wiring and outlets at all public institutions. Our goal was to ensure that there was minimal disruption to our productive sectors especially our vital tourism industry. While the immediate response to Tomas resulted in quick success, the construction of a number of projects funded by the World Bank, Caribbean Development Bank and Government of Saint Lucia. It is envisaged that this process will take about 2 years while we seek to build safeguard our beautiful island. We have already completed the Anse Galet culvert crossing and river training, the Ti Rocher (Castries) retaining walls, Mon Repos and Troumassee culvert crossings, Fond St Jacques Bailey bridge, and Odsan culvert crossing. Works are ongoing on the Bagatelle retaining walls and road rehabilitation, while construction of the Cresslands bridge and Barre dIsle retaining walls are soon to commence. Saint Lucians must all commend themselves for a job well done, but munications, Works, Transport & Public Utilities deserve much putting country first in times of such calamity. Bravo to all team members of the Ministry of Communications, Works, Transport and Public Utilities.Ministry of Communications, Works, Transport & Public Utilities A Proud Record of Leadership and Achievements
Page 11 Saturday November 5, 2011 Any credible assessment of where St Lucia is today in one year after Hurricane Tomas, must start with an understanding of the magnitude of problems the island faced as a result of the storms passage. assessment of the storms impact was provided by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) which, at the request of the government of St. Lucia dispatched a mission to the island less than three weeks after Tomas call. ECLAC was supported in its assignment by the United Na tions Development Programmes the collaboration of the Organization of American States, the Inter American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture and the University of the West Indies. oped by ECLAC, now known as the Damage and Loss Assessment methodology, or the DaLA, and provided a quantitative approxi mation of the overall damage to the economy and its impact on the Hurricane Tomas left a footprint of destruction and death as it swept across Saint Lucia. Seven persons were reported to have lost their fered a variety of physical injuries. Moreover, the hurricane occurred just as the economy was recovering from the fall-out of the recession in major markets, thus complicating the recovery process. amounted to EC$907.7 million or US$336.2 million. The scale of the event can be understood from comparing the total impact with Tomas Revisited A Review of the ECLAC Reportkey economic indicators. The total impact represents 43.4% of GDP, nine times agricultural GDP, three times tourism GDP, 62% of exports of goods and services, 19% of gross domestic investment and 47% of public external debt. recent climatic conditions in St. Lucia suggested that a drought condition preceded the unusually high rainfall event that was Hur ricane Tomas. The drought conditions, therefore, set the stage for extremely high potential for surface erosion and mass movements on slopes in the event of a normal rainy period. Even if the rainy season were to be of normal levels the effect of the drought on the soil/rock regime would have resulted in a severe hazard condition in respect of mass movements on slopes. Lucia was informed by Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) that in terms of total daily rainfall, Tomas was making it a very extreme one with regards to rainfall, and well in excess of a 100-year event. The data, as collected by the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), the Red Cross and the Ministry of Housing, suggesedt that some 5,952 persons, or 3.5% of the national population Hurricane Tomas. The majority of or 1,709, could be found in the suburban/rural area of Castries which, when combined, has the largest population of all the districts in vulnerable (16.8%). Another 16.6% could be found in Soufriere which has the highest proportion of St. indigent (42% ); and 15.3% or 909 vulnerable (13%). CLAC report identified four groups of the population: the primary, the secondary, the tertiary group comprising 3% of the total population or 5,952 persons rep due to the damage and destruction caused to their homes by Hurricane Tomas. The secondary group, of 1% or 1330 farmers, represented those livelihood, particularly production by the devastation to their crops and land used for cultivation. This proportion was grossly un derestimated as all data for other agricultural producers had not yet come to hand. The tertiary group, of 80% or 137,896, represented the proportion of the population who were without potable water for a period of roughly two weeks fol lowing the event. The last group of 16% represented those who would the event. It can be concluded from this analysis that although a small proportion of the population was mas, it had a widespread secondary period of time. It is a credit to the resilience of the St. Lucian population and its health sector that no major outbreak of water borne diseases o ccurred. vulnerability of the population and its economic activities to the acces sibility of water, as the Roseau Dam into the reservoir area of the dam and damage to its back-up generator and pump house. The turbidity of raw water was increased and the storage capacity of the dam compromised. For a two-week period, water became a scarce commodity, leaving some 80% of the population struggling to cope with a limited supply of potable water. The water authorities sought to supplement the water supply through trucking. ricane Tomas was primarily a damage event and, as such, this combined with the fact that it took place late in the year would help to contain the fall-out in GDP. Damage to capital assets and stock comprised 67% of the total impact, ed accounting for the balance. The the infrastructure sector was the 43% of the total impact, however, the productive sectors and social sectors also suffered significant impact. tor, the water supply and water disposal systems were severely disrupted with heavy siltation of the main Roseau Dam. The report noted that in general, the water supply and distribution utility had fairly old infrastructure and hence most of this infrastructure was already compromised in terms of dition almost every single intake structure and associated equipment was damaged and silted up as a result of the hurricane. As a result, the cost to the water supply, disposal and works subsector was estimated at EC$124.47 million, representing 32% of the fall-out in the infrastruc ture sector and 14% of the total impact. The diversion and siltation of main rivers would also incur sub stantial costs in river training and desilting. Major damage and de struction to the transport network (roads and bridges), including forest roads, conservatively estimated at EC$141.7 million (15.6% of the total impact), was an important cause for concern as it would entail substantial costs to rebuild them to an upgraded standard to withstand an event of a reasonable magnitude. Fortunately, the impact on the telecommunications sector was contained to EC$10 million. Similarly damage and losses in the electricity subsector were relatively modest at EC$8.3 million, limiting the disruption to business and the lives of persons from this sector. important disruption that would 2010, but with limited carry-over into 2011. The total impact on the sector amounted to EC$306.8 million (34% of the total). The mainstay tourism sector suffered the tive sectors, amounting to EC$114 million, fully 37% of the impact on the sector. The main tourist hubs in Soufriere and Vieux Fort were nately, however, only a few hotels Meanwhile, in the north of the island structural and landscaping damage to hotels was contained, allowing for only temporary dis ruption of operations in the case of some properties. Losses in the tourism sector stemmed directly from damage to hotels that led to cancellation of some bookings and indirectly from the disrup operations. Tourism is by any measure the cant sector in St Lucia with 64% of the islands economic output either it. The core (direct only) tourism sector contributes approximately 30% to St Lucias GDP, making it the top ranked sector in the economy. The agricultural sector is also critical to the economy of St Lu cia and although its contribution to GDP over the last five years has fluctuated, with an upward tendency, it continues to play an important role in the countrys socio-economic development. to the tune of EC$151.8 million. The banana crop was severely a lesser extent, wind damage. In major resuscitation investments in clearing, silt removal, fertilization and drainage to restore harvests to pre-Tomas levels. gh less than the other key important damage and losses, amounting to EC$209.2 million, 23% of the total impact. Housing bore the brunt of the fall-out in the social sector with estimated total effect of EC$192 million, 92% of the impact in the sector. A large number of houses in Castries, Soufriere and Micoud, in particular, were badly damaged or destroyed. A number of those houses were owned by medium income earners and were, therefore, fairly more costly than those owned by lowincome households. impact on the education sector amounted to EC$8.9 million. while some others had damage to their roofs and ceilings. How ever, the limited structural damage served to limit the total costs of the health sector was impacted to the tune of EC$8.3 million. A number of hospitals were damaged, particu larly the Dennery Hospital, which accounted for half of the cost of the impact in the sector and has to be relocated. picture that confronted St Lucia post-Tomas. But thanks to the national spirit of togetherness and resilience for which the island has become famous, the task of reconstruction and restoration was soon begun and has been sustained to this day. Today, just one year after the event, St Lucia is bustling again. A lot has been accomplished but there is still a job to be done.one that IS being done.
Page 12 Saturday November 5, 2011 Please email your comments or questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org St Lucias important tour ist industry is looking good again as it enters the winter season, just one year after Hur ricane Tomas. The industry is down 4 or 5 percent but Tourism Minister Senator Allen Chastanet said this week he can live with that small decline, would improve over the winter months. He attributed the decline to a number of overseas factors like the price of fuel and reduced airline seats into the island coupled with austerity measures in some of the important markets where the ef fects of the 2008 economic crisis still linger. Two major initiatives were un dertaken by the Ministry of Tourism in the wake of Hurricane Tomas. One was the management of the information going out into the various markets about the ef fects of the hurricane on the island. This was followed by a $10 million marketplace. In November, one month after Tomas, tourist arrivals were down 36 percent but things quickly began to pick up again. The level of decline was just four percent in December but by January this year, percent. Some hotels experienced in conveniences after Tomas but the cruise sector recovered in quick time with the result that St. Lucia was able to welcome cruise ships just one week after the disaster. At the time of the hurricane, Saint Lucia was on track to welcome 317,480 visitors. Notwith standing, the island registered a record 305,937 stay-over visitors, while total visitor expenditure was estimated at EC$1.5 billion. Hurricane Tomas therefore hampered the projected growth of the industry and by extension the economy. the hurricane, the Product Develop ment team of the Ministry carried out site visits to ascertain damage suffered and to determine what government intervention was re quired. Data was collected from 45 of the targeted 50 accommodation units (hotels, villas, guest houses, apartments), as the managers of there was no damage sustained. Twenty-nine properties were as sessed in the north of the island and 16 in the south. Properties reported site, damage to communications, electrical machinery, infrastructure and furniture, as well as minimal damage to foliage. were occupi ed when Hurricane Tomas struck. Measures were taken to ensure guest safety and comfort. These included provision of water for drinking and hygienic purposes. Whereas some properties utilized their water tanks, others harvested rain water or utilized naturally occurring spring water. Guests were kept together in the lobbies and reception areas and apprised of the situation, as needed. For most properties, electricity shortage was handled by utilizing lamps, torch lights, candles and generators. in business arising primarily from cancellation refunds. Other properties experienced out-of-pocket expenses to provide hurricane supplies. physical damage, while the other aged roofs. The restaurants were closed for between one and three days, due to the disruption in the municipal water supply. spoilage due to the interruption of the public power supply. This was especially problematic for Plas Kassav, as 80% or its raw materials (farine and cassava) were spoiled. This resulted in the establishment being unable to meet their supply quota to the local and regional markets (mainly Barbados). all restaurants were operating as usual, and did not express the intention of seeking direct government intervention. ge to the Sulphur Springs was considerable: landslides blocked the main entrance gate; fallen debris along the mineral spring; damage to vendors huts; loss of some of the local bath areas. The Sulphur Springs remained closed for two weeks, causing between $300,000 and $400,000 in lost rev enue. terfall was completely transformed. It was reported that the waterfall itself had changed position. The owners had to wait several days before any excavation works could start to restore the site once more. avoid the path of on-coming hurricanes and given that their tour ists have the primary portion of their vacation on-board the ship, meant that the arrival of cruise passengers played a significant role in providing welcome income to a number of stakeholders in the tourism industry. One week after the passage of Hurricane Tomas, at Port Castries. Not only did the taxi drivers, souvenir shops and visitors, the ship brought much tion. This role, they continued to play in the immediate aftermath and in the ensuing months after Hurricane Tomas. from the passage of Hurricane Tomas, the Ministry undertook a number of initiatives: Development of Business Continuity Plans with industry partners accommo dation establishments, restaurants the establishments did not have disaster plans, but rather acted in an ad-hoc manner in the immediate post Tomas era to keep operating. Whereas events such as Hurricane Tomas cannot be avoided, the preparatory and remedial measures taken by establishments can leave The Ministry of Tourism & Civil Aviation Responds to Hurricane Tomas a remarkable impression on the tourist/patron. two SMEs received training in Business Continuity Planning. These participants are expected to prepare and submit their individual plans to NEMO for endorsement. damaged were readily accom modated in their restoration proactive approach in administering duty free concessions. the hurricane were granted as follows: tion / refurbishment try continues to maintain an active working relationship with industry partners such as the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association. This has allowed the Ministry to be relevant and appropriate in its responses to the sector in times of disaster.