PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams during a recent radio interview stressed the importance for St. Maarten in cooperating with regional organizations to mitigate the effects of Climate Change and natural disasters.
The Prime Minister stated that proper information going out to the public and technical cooperation in regional organizations such as the Association of Caribbean States is crucial in ensuring the effects of calamities are reduced on St. Maarten; “Information and awareness is key and in the absence thereof you could have a situation where, after an earthquake like the one that shook us some ten days ago for example, some panic and confusion is created within the community.
“We know from history that an earthquake can trigger a tsunami. People realize the connection and start to wonder about what is happening and as soon as one person says something it starts to live a life of its own without correct and official information. It is therefore very important that we inform the population regarding what is occurring on a regional and local scale with regards to disaster management.
During the recent Association of Caribbean States meeting in Mexico strong emphasis was placed on a common system for the warning of natural disasters. Sint Maarten does not have the capacity to handle all of these issues and so being a part of an organization such as the ACS strengthens the capacity for St. Maarten and other smaller islands.
“It can do no harm to constantly revisit our disaster management organization and make sure that the lines of communication and the hierarchy are clear on who is supposed to do what and when it should be done. The other issue is that we need to address the effects and mitigate the future effects of Natural Disasters, including those that will be brought on by Climate Change. Particularly due Especially due to our small size we must not ignore this issue and address these effects it will have on our way of life,” commented Prime Minister Wescot-Williams. (Cabinet of the Prime Minister)