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  • Signing of Grant Agreement with Jamaica: Strengthening the capacity to respond to disasters through improvements to the disaster emergency communication system

Press Releases

April 7, 2017

Signing of Grant Agreement with Jamaica: Strengthening the capacity to respond to disasters through improvements to the disaster emergency communication system

photosigning ceremony

On April 6, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a grant agreement with the Government of Jamaica in Kingston, to provide grant aid of up to 1.399 billion yen for the Project for Improvement of Emergency Communication System.

The project will improve the digital radio communication system deployed throughout Jamaica for disaster risk reduction to facilitate the prompt, stable transmission of information to disaster risk reduction agencies and the general populace to reduce the impact of disasters, including those caused by climate change.

Located in the Caribbean Sea, Jamaica is an island country with a tropical marine climate. Because it is positioned in the Atlantic Ocean hurricane belt, Jamaica is often beset by flooding and landslides caused by large-scale hurricanes and tropical rainstorms. Such disasters result in the loss of human lives and widespread damage to the infrastructure, and the country has also suffered enormous economic losses in recent years in the aftermath of such storms as Tropical Rainstorm Nicole in 2010 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Given these circumstances, the Government of Jamaica has established alleviating disaster risk and adapting to climate change as a development goal and prioritized strengthening the capacity to respond to disasters.

On the basis of these policies, the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management of the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, which is in charge of supervising and coordinating disaster management, has partnered with other agencies to carry out disaster risk reduction activities, including the operation of a disaster communication system and providing advance warning communications.

These measures notwithstanding, the existing disaster risk reduction communication network cannot be utilized to full capacity due to inadequate communication capacity and transmission range, and communications depend on transmission means limited primarily to e-mail and mobile telephony. When disasters have struck, the system has therefore faced lags in warning transmission and delays in ascertaining and responding to disaster conditions.

The project is expected to facilitate speedy and stable communications and effectively reduce the impact of disasters through improved information exchanges among the agencies concerned. By strengthening the capacity to respond to disasters in Jamaica, this project also aims to build an environment oriented toward alleviating human loss and economic damages when a disaster strikes. JICA is also providing regional technical cooperation in Disaster Management in the Caribbean Region, a project from 2015 to 2017 with Jamaica as a key location, and through these two projects is providing comprehensive support to Jamaica, which includes giving advice to the executing agency as needed.

[Basic project information]
Country Jamaica
Project title The Project for Improvement of Emergency Communication System
Planned implementation period 24 months, including detailed design work and the bidding period
Executing agency Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, Ministry of Local Government and Community Development
Target region, facilities Throughout Jamaica
Specific project details (provisional) 1. Facility improvements, equipment procurement
Equipment: 24 radio repeater stations, 15 integrated command and control stations, two-way radio terminals, 15 early warning systems, other
Facilities: Six radio repeater station buildings, one outdoor rack with solar panels
2. Consulting services
Detailed design work, bidding assistance, construction supervision

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