Permanent Secretary calls for “building resilience” on International Day for Disaster Reduction

Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 13, 2015 (SKNIS—The theme designated by the United Nations General Assembly for the 2015 International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR), commemorated on October 13 each year, is “Knowledge For Life”.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Mr. Osmond Petty, in an address to mark the commemoration of this day, explained that this year’s theme provides the opportunity for all to reflect on traditional, indigenous and local knowledge which complement modern science, with the aim of allowing individuals and the wider communities to further build resilience. Mr. Petty noted that it is imperative “to use the vast knowledge of the seniors in our various homes and communities.” He said that young persons in the society must learn how to cope without technology.

“Our grandparents, mothers, fathers, uncles, aunts and other senior citizens are invaluable sources of free information that cannot be found on the internet. We need to make time to learn from them and teach young people how to live and cope without electricity, refrigerators, freezers, microwave ovens, running water, television, computers, cell phones, tablets… especially in times of disaster,” said Mr. Petty.

In addition, Mr. Petty discussed the importance of the commemoration of the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction for St. Kitts and Nevis. He said that the Caribbean has been identified as the second most vulnerable region in the world to natural hazards. Mr. Petty urged nationals to focus on building resilience, particularly in the face of ongoing drought conditions.

“Today’s focus on the importance of building resilience is most timely as we are still in the hurricane season and experiencing very low water levels as a result of unusually low rainfall. This, we are told will likely continue until the first four months of next year. Therefore, let us apply risk reduction measures as individuals and as communities to help us cope and overcome the challenges ahead,” Mr. Petty said.

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