by Linda Straker
- 10 emergency shelters to be upgraded to better accommodate elderly and disabled
- Work to include wheelchair ramps and redesigning of bathroom facilities
- There are 120 emergency shelters in Grenada
Ten of Grenada’s emergency shelters will be upgraded to better accommodate the elderly and the disabled as a result of a Canadian $99,000 grant from the Canada Caribbean Disaster Risk Management Fund.
These shelters are a mix of schools and community centres. “This is all part of our efforts to reposition Grenada to deal the various kinds of natural hazards and at the same time take care of our vulnerable communities,” said Winston Garraway, Minister responsible for Disaster Management.
He said that at the conclusion of the project approximately 12,000 persons will be better accommodated at the shelters in the event of a hazard. “We estimate that this retrofitting and upgrading will touch many lives whenever they will be used,” he said, explaining that work will include placing ramps for easy entrance and exit for persons using wheelchairs, and redesigning of bathroom facilities.
Garraway said that the implementation of this project will assist Grenada in its strategy to combat the effects of climate change as more and more actions are taken to make communities become resilient.
“NaDMA, as the agency for disaster management is placing more emphasis on all kinds of natural disasters and of priority is that of building back better as part of the resilience, so when we prepare our shelters for the vulnerable communities, we are actually aiding in getting our people ready to deal with hazards,” he said.
There are 120 emergency shelters in Grenada and according to Project Manager Donel Mitchell. The project will touch one or two shelters in every parish with the exception of St Mark. He said that the duration of the project will be 9 months and work will commence during the Easter vacation at the schools which are used as emergency shelters.
- St Andrew: Pearls Community Centre and the St Andrew’s Anglican Secondary School
- St David: St Therese RC and Westerhall Secondary School
- St George: Bethel Methodist Church and Marian Prototype Shelter/Multipurpose Centre
- St John: St John’s Christian Secondary School
- St Patrick: Mt Rich Community Centre and the River Sallee Community Centre.
The Carriacou shelter is yet to be disclosed.
John Wilson, Consultant Coordinator for the project said that this is the second project that the fund is providing to Grenada. The first was with through a partnership with the Grenada Red Cross in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan. The fund has also implemented project in CARICOM member states Barbados, Dominica, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Jamaica, Suriname, Tobago and St Lucia.