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HFA National Reports

National Report 2007: National Report on the implementation of the HFA (2007) - Jamaica

National Report 2006: Unreported

National Report 2005: Unreported

National Report 2004: National Report in preparation for WCDR (2004) - Jamaica

National Platform

National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction established on July 30, 2008

National Platform Focal Point:

Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management

Address: 12 Camp Road, Kingston 4, PO Box 122,

Tel: +(876) 928-5111/4, Fax: +(876) 928-5503/8762

URL: http://www.opdem.org.jm

Contact Person:

Mr. Ronald Jackson, General Director

Tel: +(876)-930-0796, Fax: +(876)-928-5503,

E-mail: rjackson@odpem.org.jm

Other Members:

Jamaican Red Cross

Contact person: Ms. Yvonne Clarke

Tel: (876) 984-8807, Fax: (876) 984-8272

E-mail: jrcs@infochan.com

URL: http://www.jamaicaredcross.org/new/index.php

Salvation Army

Contact person: Major Denzil Walcott

Tel: (876) 922-0287, Fax: (876) 929-5760

Ministry of Health

Contact person: Dr. Marion Bullock DuCasse

Tel: (876) 948-0153, Fax: (876) 922-1269

E-mail: mohemergency@yahoo.com

URL: http://www.moh.gov.jm

Ministry of Health

Contact person: Ms. Karen Lewis Bell

Tel: (876) 968-1262, Fax: (876) 754-5793

E-mail: mohemergency@hotmail.com

Adventist Development Relief Agency (ADRA)

Contact person: Pastor Desmond Robinson

Tel: (876) 962-2910, Fax: (876) 962-3417

E-mail: wiuadra@cwjamaica.com

Jamaica Constabulary Force

Contact person: Supt. Gaynor

Tel: (876) 927-4215, Fax: (876) 927-3168

E-mail: pnnc@cwjamaica.com

National Meteorological Service

Contact person: Mrs. Sylvia McGill

Tel: (876) 960-8990, Fax: (876) 960-8989

E-mail: metja@infochan.com

URL: http://www.metservice.gov.jm/

Ministry of Labour & Social Security

Contact person: Ms. Marlene Miller

Tel: (876) 948-4264, Fax: (876) 924-9639

E-mail: marleenmile@yahoo.com

URL: http://www.mlss.gov.jm/pub/index.php

Planning Institute of Jamaica

Contact person: Mrs. Claire Bernard

Tel: (876) 906-4464, Fax: (876) 906-4651

E-mail: clairebernard@pioj.gov.jm

URL: http://www.pioj.gov.jm/

Planning Institute of Jamaica

Contact person: Ms. Nadine Jones

Tel: (876) 906-4463, Fax: (876) 906-4651

E-mail: njones@pioj.gov.jm

URL: http://www.pioj.gov.jm/

Jamaica Fire Brigade

Contact person: Supt.Linroy Lambert

Tel: (876) 967-0550, Fax: (876) 967-3594

E-mail: jamfire@hotmail.com

Jamaica Fire Brigade

Contact person: Commissioner Laurie Williams

Tel: (876) 967-4204, Fax: (876) 967-3594

E-mail: commissioner.jfb@cwjamaica.com

Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB)

Contact person: Ass. Supt. John Marcus

Tel: (876) 922-2153

Mines & Geology Division

Contact person: Mr. Coy Roache, Commissioner

Tel: (876) 927-1064, Fax: (876) 977-1204

E-mail: mines@cwjamaica.com

URL: http://www.mgd.gov.jm

Water Resources Authority

Contact person: Mr. Herbert Thomas, Director

Tel: (876) 977-1211, Fax: (876) 977-0179

URL: http://www.wra.gov.jm/

National Works Agency

Contact person: Mr. Ivan Anderson, CEO

Tel: (876) 926-8824, Fax: (876) 926-2572

URL: http://www.nwa.gov.jm/content/home.aspx

Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade

Contact person: Ms. Margaret Jobson

Tel: (876) 926-8563, Fax: (876) 960-3946

E-mail: fsoperationsja@cwjamaica.com

URL: http://www.mfaft.gov.jm/

Ministry of Transport & Works

Contact person: Ms. Dorothea Clarke

Tel: (876) 754-5258, Fax: (876) 754-9748

E-mail: dmclarke@mtw.far.fm

URL: http://www.mtw.gov.jm/

Jamaica Defence Force

Contact person: Major Sean Prendergast

Tel: (876) 929-3777, Fax: (876) 926-8243

E-mail: garfield.prendergast@jdf.mil.jm

URL: http://www.jdfmil.org

National Environment & Planning Agency (NEPA)

Contact person: Dr. Leary Myers

Tel: (876) 754-7526, Fax: (876) 754-7594

URL: http://www.nepa.gov.jm/

Ministry of Education & Youth

Contact person: Mr. Lauriston Wilson

Tel: (876) 922-8864, Fax: (876) 922-0106

E-mail: edirtech@cwjamaica.com

URL: http://www.moec.gov.jm/

National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA)

Contact person: Mrs. Joan Gordon-Webley

Tel: (876) 960-8781, Fax: (876) 920-1415

E-mail: hwilliams@nswma.gov.jm

URL: http://www.nswma.gov.jm/

National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA)

Contact person: Mr. Derrick Denniser

Tel: (876) 968-8034, Fax: (876) 920-7879

E-mail: derrickdennniser@hotmail.com

URL: http://www.nswma.gov.jm/

Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS CO.)

Contact person: Mr. Danny Nembhard

Tel: (876) 935-3578, Fax: (876) 511-2010

E-mail: dnembhard@jpsco.com

URL: https://www.jpsco.com/site.nsf/web/index.html

Jamaica Public Service Company

Contact person: Ms. Winsome Callum

Tel: (876) 935-3504

URL: https://www.jpsco.com/site.nsf/web/index.html

Jamaica Public Service Company

Contact person: Mr. Humphrey Lawrence

Tel: (876) 937-3979

URL: https://www.jpsco.com/site.nsf/web/index.html

Ministry of Local Government

Contact person: Mr. Patrick Wong

Tel: (876) 754-1012, Fax: (876) 754-1022

E-mail: pwong@mlgcd.gov.jm

URL: http://www.mlge.gov.jm

Ministry of Finance & the Public Service

Contact person: Mr. Robert O.Martin

Tel: (876) 932-5200, Fax: (876) 924-9644

E-mail: dfsfman@mof.gov.jm

URL: http://www.mof.gov.jm/

Jamaica Urban Transport Company

Contact person: Mr. Douglas Chambers

Tel: (876) 749-3196, Fax: (876) 749-2984

URL: http://www.jutc.com/

National Water Commission

Contact person: Mr. Carl McDowell

Tel: (876) 929-8972, Fax: (876) 926-7121

E-mail: cmdowell@nwc.com.ja

URL: http://www.nwcjamaica.com/

Poor Relief Assoc.

Contact person: Ms. Lena Latibeaudiere

Tel: (876) 922-6936/7, Fax: (876) 967-4370

Mininstry of Agriculture

Contact person: Mr. Rupert Johnson

Tel: (876) 927-2639, Fax: (876) 977-1875

E-mail: psoffice@moa.gov.jm

URL: http://www.moa.gov.jm/

Ministry of Commerce

Contact person: Dr. Jean Dixon, P.S.

Tel: (876) 754-5501, Fax: (876) 960-1623

E-mail: communications@mct.gov.jm

Mininstry of Water & Housing

Contact person: Mrs. Genefa Hibbert, P.S.

Tel: (876) 926-1691-3, Fax: (876) 754-2855

E-mail: prumow@cwjamaica.com

Ministry of Industry & Tourism

Contact person: Ms. Barbara James

Tel: (876) 920-4926, Fax: (876) 920-4944

E-mail: mts@cwjamaica.com

Ministry of Local Government, Community Development and Sport (MLGCDS)

Contact person: Ms. Lorna Perkins

Tel: (876) 754-8992

E-mail: lperkins@mlgcd.gov.jm

National Works Agency (NWA)

Contact person: Mrs. Petro Keene-Williams

Tel: (876) 926-3210-9

URL: http://www.nwa.gov.jm

National Works Agency (NWA)

Contact person: Mr. Garth Sharpe

Tel: (876) 926-3210-9

E-mail: garthsharpe@nwa.gov.jm

URL: http://www.nwa.gov.jm

Jamaica Railway Corporation (JRC)

Contact person: Ms. Dorothy Francis

Tel: (876) 987-7863, Fax: (876) 984-8272

E-mail: dorojrcs@hotmail.com

Jamaica Defence Force (JDF)

Contact person: Comm. Peter Williams

Tel: (876) 926-5493

E-mail: peter.williams@jdf.mil.jm

URL: http://www.jdfmil.org/

Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF)

Contact person: Supt. Ronald Facey

Tel: (876) 922-7736

E-mail: services-jcf@cwjamaica.com

Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF)

Contact person: Supt. Eolon Powell

Tel: (876) 928-2858

E-mail: eolonp@hotmail.com

HFA National Focal Point:

Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management

Address: 12 Camp Road, Kingston 4, PO Box 122

Tel: +1-876-928-5111/4, Fax:+1-876-928-5503/8762

HFA Contact person:

Mr. Ronald Jackson, General Director

Tel: +001(876)-930-0796, Fax: +001(876)-928-5503,

E-mail: rjackson@odpem.org.jm

Website: http://www.opdem.org.jm

Technical focal point:

Michelle Edwards, Senior Director - Mitigation, Planning and Research

Tel: +1-876-928-5111/4

E-mail: medwards@odpem.org.jm

Official Designation: Communiqué

Other contacts

Permanent Mission of Jamaica to the United Nations in Geneva


Her Excellency Ms. Gail M. Mathurin

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

Permanent Representative

Address: Rue de Lausanne 36, 1201 Geneva

Tel: +(41-22) 908-0760, Fax: +(41-22) 738-4420

E-mail: mission.jamaica@ties.itu.int

UN System Coordination

UNDG: UNCT Jamaica

UN Resident Coordinator

Mr. Minh Pham

E-mail: minh.pham@undp.org

UN Country Team

Mr. Minh Pham: Resident Coordinator, UNDP System

Mr. Nelson Andrade: Coordinator, UNEP

Dr. Kwame Boafo: Director, UNESCO

Mr. Harold Robinson: Representative, UNFPA

Mr. Badrul Haque: Economist/Liaison Officer, World Bank

Dr. Ernest Pate: Representative, PAHO/WHO

Mr. Bertrand Bainvel: Representative, UNICEF

Dr. David Smith: Asst. Res. Representative, UNDP System

Dr. Dunstan Campbell: Representative, FAO

Ms. Miriam Maluwa: Country Coordinator, UNAIDS

Meteorological Service

Mrs Sylvia McGill

P.o. box 103 Kingston 10

Tel: (1-876) 929-3695, Fax: (1-876) 960-8989,

E-mail: metja@infochan.com

Website: http://www.worldweather.org/026/c00098.htm

The Earthquake Unit

Dr. Margaret Wiggins-Grandison, Seismologist / Head

Mona Campus, University of the West Indies, Kingston

Tel: (1-876) 927-2586

E-mail: equake@uwimona.edu.jm

CDRA member:

Ronald Jackson, Director General

of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management

P.O.Box 122, 12 Camp Road,

Kingston 4, Jamaica

Tel: (876) 928-5111-4, Fax: (876) 928-5503/8763,

E-mail: odpem@cwjamaica.com

Website: http://www.odpem.org.jm

UNDP resident coordinator:

Mr. Minh Pham, Resident Representative

Resident Coordinator - UNDP

1 and 3 Lady Musgrave Road, Box 280, Kingston

Tel: (1-876) 946 2165, Fax: (+1-876) 946 2163

E-mail: registry.jm@undp.org

Website: http://www.undp.org/fojam

Country profile:

Official Name:

Conventional long form: None

conventional short form: Jamaica

Capital: Kingston

Independence day: 6 August 1962 (from UK).

Area Total: 10,991 sq km (land: 10,831 sq km and water: 160 sq km).

Population density 2,780,132 (July 2007 est.)

Ethnic Groups black 91.2%, mixed 6.2%, other or unknown 2.6% (2001 census)

Religion Protestant 62.5% (Seventh-Day Adventist 10.8%, Pentecostal 9.5%, Other Church of God 8.3%, Baptist 7.2%, New Testament Church of God 6.3%, Church of God in Jamaica 4.8%, Church of God of Prophecy 4.3%, Anglican 3.6%, other Christian 7.7%), Roman Catholic 2.6%, other or unspecified 14.2%, none 20.9%, (2001 census).

Official Language: English, English patois.

Government Constitutional parliamentary democracy.

Administrative Divisions 14 parishes; 1. Clarendon, Hanover, 2. Kingston, 3. Manchester, 4. Portland, 5. Saint Andrew, 6. Saint Ann, 7. Saint Catherine, 8. Saint Elizabeth, 9. Saint James, 10. Saint Mary, 11. Saint Thomas, 12. Trelawny, 13. Westmoreland note: for local government purposes, Kingston and Saint Andrew were amalgamated in 1923 into the present single corporate body known as the Kingston and 14. Saint Andrew Corporation

Currency: Jamaican dollar (JMD) Climate: Tropical; hot, humid; temperate interior

Natural Hazards

Hurricanes (especially July to November)

The island of Jamaica is mainly susceptible to hurricanes, floods, droughts, earthquakes and landslides.

The two most recent major hurricanes were Gilbert, a Category 3 storm, in 1988, and Hurricane Ivan, Category 4, in September 2004. The eye of Hurricane Ivan past 30 miles south of Jamaica, therefore significantly reducing the anticipated impact on the country and its capital Kingston. Preparedness measures evacuated up to 150,000 people from potential danger zones. Nevertheless, 14 people were killed and communities, infrastructure, the environment and the agricultural sector were severely affected. In some communities, running water was hardly available for a period of up to two months. At the end of October 2004, the Jamaican government created the Office of National Reconstruction (ONR), which to date has been unable to acquire sufficient funds for restoring the most affected areas of the country. However, funds for the relocation of two of the most badly affected communities have been identified and these plans are now in progress.

Floods can occur at any time, but are most often associated with hurricanes or depressions. Low-lying plains as well as closed limestone valleys are most at risk. Flood rains often trigger landslides.

Droughts are a regular occurrence, especially on the South Coast where there is very little rainfall and agriculture depends on pumped water.

The two largest earthquakes on record took place in 1692 and 1907. Earthquake activity is being monitored by a series of seismographs and accelerographs which are operated by the Earthquake Unit of the University of the West Indies at Mona.

All actors and organizations involved in national disaster management efforts are jointly referred to as National Emergency Management Organization. It consists of the National Disaster Committee, the National Disaster Executive, the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), private sector representatives and several regional and local organizations, non-governmental organizations and volunteers. The National Disaster Committee is responsible for policy.

A Draft National Hazard Mitigation Policy has been developed and is expected to be completed in the near future. The Disaster Preparedness Act (1993) has been in force since 1993. A building code has existed since the 1950s. It has not passed into law but is currently being reviewed and updated. Hazard mapping for floods, landslides and earthquakes has been done and flood risk mapping is taking place.

There are various initiatives on disaster risk information management systems and national public awareness programmers. Disaster management is a part of various curricula and training programs are available at the undergraduate and postgraduate level. The University of the West Indies has elaborate research and training programs on various areas related to disaster reduction. The mass media and well-known personalities are involved in public awareness campaigns, with specific weeks dedicated to earthquake awareness and disaster risk reduction in schools and businesses and a specific month dedicated to disaster preparedness. Several civil society initiatives have taken shape during recent years, showing an increase not only in public awareness but also in public participation in disaster reduction.


Social Problems:

Jamaica is considered a transshipment point for cocaine from South America to North America and Europe; illicit cultivation and consumption of cannabis; government has an active manual cannabis eradication program; corruption is a major concern; substantial money-laundering activity; Colombian narcotics traffickers favor Jamaica for illicit financial transactions. Source CIA Factbook 12 February, 2008.


Institutional Setting


After the June 1979 floods, which devastated sections of Western Jamaica, the Government of Jamaica recognised the need for the establishment of a permanent disaster management organization responsible for coordination and monitoring the response to hazards as well as educating the nation on all aspects of disaster management.

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Relief Coordination (ODIPERC), was established in July 1980. In 1993, the name ODIPERC was changed to the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), a statutory body, under the provisions of Section 15 of the Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management Act.

Operating out of the Ministry of Land and Environment, ODPEM is overseen by a Board of Management that oversees activities. The Board of Management appoints the Director General who leads a staff complement divided into the following divisions: Corporate Services, Preparedness and Emergency Operations, Mitigation, Planning and Research and Projects Implementation, Development and Monitoring Unit.

ODPEM is committed to taking pro-active and timely measures to prevent or reduce the impact of hazards on Jamaica, its people, natural resources and economy through its staff, the use of appropriate technology and collaborative efforts with national, regional and international agencies.

National Disaster Committee (NDC)

The National Disaster Committee, established by the Disaster Preparedness Act of 1993, is an interagency body chaired by the Prime Minister of Jamaica and comprised of various ministers, permanent functionaries and agency heads. Under the leadership of the current Prime Minister, the NDC meets quarterly , as do the subcommittees. The NDC is the main coordinating body for disasters affecting the country. The Prime Minister as Chairman, is the overall manager of the nation’s preparedness, mitigation, recovery and rehabilitation efforts.

The committee’s executive directs and formulates policies while the Deputy Chairman executes policies, advises and assists the Chairman. He is also responsible for coordinating counter disaster measures and liaison with international agencies.

There are a number of agencies that form the National Disaster Committee and work alongside the ODPEM to fulfill its mandate. These agencies are placed on committees to maximize their effectiveness.

NDC Committees and their roles:

Administration Finance & Planning Committee: Equipping Response Agencies / Staffing / Funding of emergency activities / EOC – Emergency Operation Centre
Damage Assessment – Recovery & Rehabilitation Committee: Damage assessment / Coordinate restoration / Evaluation planning
Emergency Operation Communication Transport: Rescue evaluation / Law enforcement / Establish and maintain communication links / Coordinate transport
Health Planning - Emergency health care / Health care
Public Information and Education: Disseminate information / Conduct training exercises /
Welfare Shelter – Relief Clearance: Shelter relief / Coordinating clearance of relief supplies

The Response Matrix

The National Emergency Response clearly outlines the range of agencies and private sector organizations with which the organization collaborates in disaster events.

The matrix is designed primarily for use by the decision makers during emergency operations at the national level (NEOC) and parish level (PEOC). These include the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) operated by ODPEM, the Parish Emergency Operation Centre (PEOC) operated by PDC (Parish Disaster Committee) and the heads of agencies who will commit manpower and other resources to preparedness and timeliness of response. The agencies also find it a useful reminder of their role and functions during emergency incidents.

Climate change

Progress towards the implementation of the HFA

(Source: Matrix Final - based on national progress report for the Global Platform).

HFA P1 - Institutional and legal framework:

Incorporation of hazard information into development approval process at the national level and local level

Preparation of guidelines for development initiatives in high risk area

HFA P2 - Risk identification and EWS:

Improvement of mitigation planning through the use of scientific data and application of technology; computers &software installed in 13 parishes

HFA P3 - Knowledge and education:

Development of comprehensive national hazard database using GIS technology; development of vulnerability index, ranking of highly vulnerable communities using vulnerability index; development of community hazard management plans; data presented spatially, database enhanced and maps produced after each event/activation

HFA P4 - Risk applications:

Enhancement of national, parish, government and NGO’& Agency plans; assessment of the number of shelters required in each vulnerable community; development of guidelines to classify Emergency shelters; two hundred and ten volunteers trained as Shelter Manager; area assigned for shelter use, identified in 50 schools; capacity of 50 shelters/schools calculated; sixteen communities assessed for sheltering requirement

HFA P5 - Preparedness and response:

Integration of the use of damage assessment information into the recovery and rehabilitation process and national development planning: training of damaged assessment trainers and teams; damage assessment training in Western Jamaica; vulnerability assessments informed by damage assessment information.

Others Documents:

Hazard Maps Vulnerability Jamaica

Source: CDERA

Publication date: 2003

Millenium Development Goals: Jamaica

Source: UNDP

Publication date: April, 2004

Web Links:

Interview with Ronald Jackson, Director of ODPEM Jamaica Download interview here

Jamaica's Office for Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management: ODPEM

CDERA News Center:Jamaica

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