Re: Assistance from T&T re Tomas

Begging for Aid especially after a storm or natural disaster from sister
islands should be a thing of the past. The islands of the OECS are members
of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank and the ministers of Finance are the
highest decision makers of the Central Bank. Both strategies and
creative/visionary policies should be put in place by the central bank to
serve the peoples of the OECS. The SWOT analysis must recognize the
vulnerabilities of the OECS to Natural disasters and develop strategies and
policies to mitigate its impact. For example a disaster fund should be put
in place. A lending policy on the financing of roofing materials appropriate
for our environment and sustainable to generate employment and export should
have been in place for some time now. The necessity of a manufacturing
sector should be considered. The goal of cheaper power should be a major
priority and with that one will realize surpluses for adopting a green
economy , water management, waste disposal, a roving health team for the
OECS to reinforce member islands health sector, better building materials ,
increased technical and vocational skills among OECS citizens, better
intelligence in design and construction generally as well as a developmental
focus on agro processing, shipping and supply chain management.

To cut a long story short we need to rethink for the better the impact of
natural disasters on our lives in the OECS and develop strategies and
policies through our Regional Institutions and governments that will revolve
around this while attempting to go about our business under the semblance of
normalcy which is temporary in a typical 12 month period where we are under
constant threat of a hurricane for at least 6 months in a year, earthquakes
on a daily basis, and volcanoes that can strike sooner rather than later.

The Caricom treaty should be revised and member countries that benefit via
export of building materials such as Trinidad should be made aware that
business as usual will be no more.

Alexander Stephenson

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