Planning Ministry and UN certifies disaster management stakeholders

Participants of the Damage and Loss Assessment (DALA) methodology certification training on the last day of the workshop at the Ministry of Planning and Development

On October 18-19, 2018, Trinidad and Tobago experienced unprecedented levels of rainfall causing widespread flooding that affected approximately 80% of the country directly and indirectly. Reports from the ODPM and CDEMA indicated that 100,000 to 150,000 persons were impacted in some way by the torrential downpours. The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UN ECLAC), estimated that US $3.7 million in damages was recorded, not taking into account the millions also spent in aid and relief.

Planning and Development Minister, Camille Robinson-Regis would like to announce that in the wake of last year’s flooding event, the Government committed to ensuring that all affected citizens accessed relief and aid and immediately went to work to guarantee that Trinidad and Tobago was never placed in such a position again. In addition to a total of US $4 million in support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the Government through the Ministry of Planning and Development and the IDB also coordinated with UN ECLAC to facilitate certification training specially designed for Trinidad and Tobago from February 6-8, 2019, focusing on the application of the Damage and Loss Assessment Methodology (DaLA) for disaster management stakeholders.

Overview of the DaLA Methodology:

  • The DaLA Methodology was developed in the 1970s and has evolved as a globally recognized and applied tool to quantify the impacts of disasters and helps to determine the necessary financial resources to achieve full reconstruction and recovery.
  • Consistently using this methodology helps disaster management stakeholders identify the socio-economic impact of any given disaster, as well as the exposure of sector assets.
  • It also reinforces resilience by promoting the “Build Back Better” principles in reconstruction and recovery efforts.
  • This methodology is important to Government given the need to account for the impact of disasters when they occur and the need to understand how to become more resilient to these shocks

Close to twenty six (26) participants from Government Ministries involved in disaster support and management were certified, which included representatives from the Trinidad and Tobago Red Cross, the University of the West Indies and the Tobago Emergency Management Agency among others. The training through this methodology also helps to determine the necessary financial resources needed to achieve full reconstruction and recovery from a disaster of any kind, and focuses on the ‘Build Back Better’ principle which not only takes into account physical infrastructure, but social and economic recovery as well. This is the first time this methodology has been introduced to Trinidad it is a high priority for the Government given the need to account for the impact of disasters when they occur as well as to become more resilient to these shocks in the future.

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