Climate and disaster project ‘graduates’ 22 community Vector Control Aides and Insect screen makers
22 participants who successfully completed a two-month training course on the construction of vector control aide and insect screens and mesh covers, as well as small business management training, were presented with their certificates of completion recently. The training was hosted by the Westmoreland Municipal Corporation, under the Climate Change Adaptation and Risk Reduction Technology and Strategies (CARTS) project.
The presentation ceremony was held at Wesley Methodist Church in Savanna-la-Mar on February 14.
The project, designed to improve community disaster and climate resilience, was financed by the Community Disaster Risk Reduction Fund (CDRRF), a multi donor trust fund managed by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), with grant resources from Global Affairs Canada and the European Union.
Training for the project, which was launched in October last year, was facilitated by HEART Trust/NTA, the Ministry of Health, business management teacher Wayne Coley, and industrial arts teacher Javid Murray.
Mayor of Savanna-la-Mar and Chairman of the Westmoreland Municipal Corporation, Councillor Bertel Moore was among the stakeholders who congratulated the participants in the training. He lauded the partnering agencies and sponsors for collaborating with the Municipality in the initiative to reduce the presence of mosquitoes which spread the dengue virus.
"The important thing for me today (Friday) is to thank all those who participated in the programme. I also want to thank CDB because if it wasn't for them the programme would never take place. If we should reach the (dengue outbreak) stage again - I hope not - I hope we can work as a team together because if you look at the present, the dengue situation is trending down and if it wasn't because of the hard work of the persons involved, it would not be trending down,” Mayor Moore said. “I really want to thank them for what they have been doing for the parish and to say let us continue to work together as a team, to build our parish and make Westmoreland and Jamaica, land we love, a place to live, work and grow our children."
HEART Trust/NTA representative Shernet Spence, who also commended the participants, tasked them "to continue to live the change".
"Contribute to the change, make the change. You have been given what you need to go out there and work with it," Spence charged.
Knowledge management and communications consultant with the CDRRF, Indi Mclymont-Lafayette seconded that, urging participants to continue to work to reduce risk and build climate resilience in the community at large.
Project Manager, Shadae Allen of the Westmoreland Municipal Corporation said the programme highlights that the response to climate change features various avenues to enhance livelihoods.
"Vector control and small business management training is indeed a mark of the achievement of a significant milestone for the CARTS project, a project that was designed to improve the resilience to climate change and enhance disaster risk reduction capacity in the town of Savanna-la-Mar...The CARTS project overall through its implementation has achieved a lot," she said.
Steve Morris, Chief Health Inspector at the Westmoreland Health Department welcomed the initiative.
"I must say that when we at the health department heard of this project, I was happy to participate. I realised the impact of a project like this on the health of the people of Westmoreland," Morris said while addressing the certificate recipients.
Savanna-la-Mar’s location on the coast makes it more vulnerable to climate impacts such as storm surge, flooding, and sea level rise among others. Thus far, under the CARTS project 164 persons have already been trained in areas such as First Aid and Cardiopulmonary Response, Basic Search and Rescue and Initial Damage Assessment. The Project, which started in November 2018, is expected to benefit the 34,783 residents of Savanna-la-Mar, comprising 17,443 females and 17,340 males.
The CARTS project is one of five sub-projects being implemented by the CDRRF in Jamaica. The others are in Clarendon, St. Thomas, and St. Mary.