New Headquarters for CDEMA

Bridgetown, Barbados, March 12th, 2014 (CDEMA) - The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) will have a new headquarters at Lower Estate, St Michael, Barbados. Speaking at the Groundbreaking Ceremony held on Monday, Ronald Jackson, Executive director of CDEMA said, “The purpose-built facilities will significantly enhance CDEMA’s capabilities for emergency planning and response, as well as contribute to the growth of the regional skills base for disaster risk management.”


The construction of the facility is supported through the Government of Barbados and the United States Southern Command (US SOUTHCOM). Jackson in acknowledging the support stated, “We are not just breaking ground for the new CDEMA facilities, but through this partnership, the Government of Barbados, the United States Southern Command and CDEMA, we will be putting down a major part of the foundation in ensuring that the CDEMA Coordinating Unit and the CDEMA System charged with leading the mandate for Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) is placed on a sustainable path.”1.	Sitting in the front  row at the CDEMA groundbreaking ceremony for the new headquarters , (from left) Ronald Jackson, Executive Director ,  CDEMA, Commander Long, Senior Defence Attache , US Embassy, Barbados, Reverend Wood, Pastor Emmanuel Baptist Church, and Attorney General and Home Affairs Minister Adriel Brathwaite

Jackson explained that CDEMA, through CDM, seeks to address risk factors at the regional, national, sectoral and community levels as well as to build capacity for planning and responding to emergency events. The new multi- purpose facility will be a key factor in this regard. In addition to the offices of the CDEMA headquarters, the facility will house a Training Facility, the Regional Coordination Centre and a Warehouse of emergency supplies.

Attorney General and Home Affairs Minister Adriel Brathwaite in his remarks reaffirmed the commitment of the Government of Barbados to CDEMA and to the completion of the headquarters building. He noted that while there were challenges in progressing to this stage, these were conquered due to the collaborative efforts of the United States Southern Command, CDEMA, Ministry of Home Affairs, town planning and other government agencies. He believed that the spirit of team work would prevail and see the building completed within the 11 month timeframe. Minister Braithwaite also noted that many regional institutions, including CDEMA are financially challenged and called on all partners to continue their support to CDEMA to ensure that the agency is able to discharge its mandate.

Commander Michael Long, Senior Defence Attache with the US Embassy in Barbados also provided remarks at the ceremony. He highlighted the value of the strong partnership and relationship between the US SOUTHCOM and CDEMA, noting in particular the cooperation to improve regional response capability.

The US SOUTHCOM is providing US$4 million to support the construction of the state of the art CDEMA facility on thirteen thousand square feet of land leased by the Government of Barbados.

The brief but historic groundbreaking ceremony for CDEMA was attended by a small gathering including representatives from partner agencies, key government departments, media personnel and CDEMA staff. Judy Thomas, Director of Barbados Department of Emergency Management welcomed the attendees on behalf of the Participating States.

Please click here to listen to the Ground Breaking Ceremony

Ronald Jackson, Executive Director, gets ready to officially signal start of construction of CDEMA headquarters

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