International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR)

Today, Wednesday, October 13, 2010, is being observed as International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR). Sanctioned by the United Nations Secretariat for the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), this day is observed annually to raise global awareness.

The theme for this year’s campaign “My City is Getting Ready” the UNISDR secretariat is calling on its partners to play a more active role to protect cities against disasters. Many cities have been disrupted this year by disasters: The most recent being tropical storm Nicole in Jamaica, earthquakes in Haiti, Chile and New Zealand; floods and heavy rainfalls in Pakistan, Eastern Europe, Mozambique and other parts of Africa; forest fires in Russia; and volcanic eruptions in Indonesia and Iceland. All have caused huge human suffering and economic damage.

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) in collaboration with the Portmore Municipal Council will embark on a Beach Clean-Up activity in observance of IDDR Day on Saturday, October 30, 2010, at the Port Henderson Beach. The plan will look at targeting approximately 200 volunteers from active community groups including Disaster Zonal Committees and the school community in Portmore. 

In addition, the Beach Clean Up activity is to further emphasize mitigation measures in an effort to protect sections of the coastline in Portmore. Issues related to improper garbage disposal as well as Portmore’s increased vulnerability to storm surges and coastal erosion associated with hurricanes have all significantly impacted the area which is being brought to the fore by community action.

The Port Henderson Beach was selected based on predetermined selection criteria and it has also received the endorsement of the Portmore Public Health, Disaster and Support Services Committee.