June 26, 2017
In a small tropical island state, Jamaica,where natural disasters such as torrential rains, hurricanes, floods and landslides are threatsto the population, these disasters may cause electricity and water outrage, creating major economic crisis and most crucially loss of human lives. . Even the big earthquake with Tsunami, that is said to have hit once in 50 years andwhich was the cause of the destruction of Pirates of the Caribbean, it is not strange whenever it comes.
Ms. Heather Williams, an officer from the Jamaica Fire Brigade, participated in the "Community-based Disaster Risk Reduction" Knowledge Co-Creation Programme conducted in Kobe City in FY 2015. After she returned to Jamaica, she planned and implemented primary school education for disaster prevention in 2016 by making use of what we learned in the Training in Japan. JICA supported this project as follow-up Cooperation Programme in FY2016.
The project started with the Knowledge Transfer seminar, which was held for twenty four (24) fire-fighters across the divisions of St. Catherine, Clarendon and Manchester as well as the two St. Catherine-based Parish Council Disaster Coordinators.
Knowledge Transfer Seminar
The project was launched on June 30, 2016 at the Altamont Court Hotel with attendance with the Ambassador of Japan, H.E. Masanori Nakano and Mr. Kenji Tobita, Resident Representative, JICA Jamaica.
A Capacity Building Workshop was held for twenty (20) teachers representing eight (8) schools in St. Catherine.
Workshop for Teachers and Ms. Heather Williams (center)
Workshop for Teachers
A two-day Disaster Risk Reduction Exposition (DRR EXPO) was held from the 25th to 26th of October, 2016 at the Portmore Fire Station for approximately two hundred (200) students and forty (40) teachers from primary schools in St. Catherine. DRR Poster Competition, DRR Photo Panels and DRR Goods Exhibition, and Demonstration by the Fire Brigade were provided.
Children looking at a DRR Photo Panel at the DRR EXPO
A scenery from the DRR EXPO
A scenery from the DRR EXPO
Students looking at DRR Posters made by them
Demonstration by the Jamaica Fire Brigade at DRR EXPO
The production of CROX "the friendly crocodile" was done and was used in the department's Fire Prevention Education program to demonstrate rescue and transportation of victims of natural disasters.
St. Catherine (Jamaica) Fire-fighters with "Crox"
Kobe City Fire-fighters with "Kaeru", the demonstration frog doll at DRR drills, which Ms. Heather Williams learned while she participated in the Training in Japan.
DRR CLUB IMPLEMENTATION (FINAL ACTIVITY)
The final component of the project is the establishment of DRR club as an extra-curricular activity in the pilot schools. To this end, we (Fire Prevention Department) have had discussions with the respective schools and the Ministry of Education Region VI.
Both the schools and the Ministry welcome the concept whole-heartedly and are enthusiastic to get the club started. We envision a "soft launch" at the start of the next school semester (April 24 – June 30, 2017) with full implementation at the start of the 2017-2018 school year (September 4, 2017).
Additionally, the Ministry has requested an official launch of the club and has pledged its full support to the Jamaica Fire Brigade in having the club replicated in schools across the entire island, gradually on a phased basis.