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The skills of some members of District Emergency Organisations (DEOs) as well as key players involved in disaster management will be further enhanced when they come together to collaborate at a Damage Assessment Training workshop.

It will be held at the Gill and Gollop Community Centre, St. John’s Parish Church, on Saturday, September 1, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

According to one of the organiser’s and Chairperson of the St. John DEO John Haynes, "right now the Statistical Department is still grappling to get a cadre of persons to be trained in damage assessment…and the more persons we have trained the better, as you do not know who will be impacted.?? Therefore, we are training some new persons so that if anyone is affected, we will still have persons out there who can carry on the process," he asserted.

Senior Field Investigator with the Barbados Statistical Service (BSS), Wayne Davis, added that the workshop was to be used as a model for others, and it was the organisers’ hope to eventually target every parish.

He continued that on the day of the workshop participants would also do a number of field exercises.

"As part of this exercise we actually plan on going out into the field… Barbados is divided into enumeration districts and we have about 583 of these areas, and St. John has about 11.?? So, what we are going to do is to choose about three or four of these parts…and we are going to split up the areas into smaller fractions with five people working in one section and five working in another… and this will help us to determine how effective the whole damage assessment is, and it will also give us a first-hand opportunity to see the strengths and weaknesses of the whole exercise," Mr. Davis explained.

Agencies partnering with the DEOs include: the BSS; the Department of Emergency Management; the Barbados Red Cross; USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, and the Barbados Citizens Band Radio Association.

theresa.blackman@barbados.gov.bb

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