The Marriaqua constituency is home to this country's newest satellite warehouse. The satellite warehouse which was officially opened on Monday March 16th, 2020, stores supplies and tools to be used in the event of an emergency.
Marriaqua's satellite warehouse is the fourth of six warehouses to be constructed and outfitted around St. Vincent and the Grenadines through the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO)'s policy. Director of NEMO Michelle Forbes, in her opening remarks, told the audience that the satellite warehouse was constructed for them. Forbes explained that “The overall management of these warehouses falls under NEMO with a management team comprising of members selected by the community”.
NEMO’s director thanked the team for volunteering their services. She noted that “These items are not for emergency only but groups can come together and have community driven activities... such as the trimming of trees for an elderly person or cleaning the surrounding areas that are prone to flooding or be prepared for landslides”.
Project Coordinator of the Regional Disaster Vulnerable Reduction Project (RDVRP) Janelle Quow, in her overview of the Project, said the main objective of the RDVRP is to measurably reduce the country's vulnerability to natural hazards. Quow disclosed that the Kingstown and Dorsetshire Hill Government Schools, roads, bridges and river crossings were rehabilitated under the RDVRP.
Area Representative and Minister of Education, Hon. St. Clair Prince, said that the Satellite Warehouse opening is an indication that the government takes disaster management and climate change seriously. “Satellite warehouse allows a community to respond swiftly and effectively to a disaster or to any related emergency event”, Minister Prince said.
The Area Representative added that the facility complements a host of other developments in the community. To this end, he thanked NEMO for their foresight in spearheading the development of the Satellite Warehouse, and Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Ralph Gonsalves for helping him to look after Marriaqua.
Prime Minister Dr. The Hon. Ralph Gonsalves reiterated that the government takes very seriously preparation for natural disaster and climate change. He said this country will assume chair of the UN Security Council for one month in November. During this time, the Prime Minister said the theme will be “the matter of the security consequences of climate change”.
Dr. Gonsalves thanked all those whose hands contributed to the construction and outfitting of the Satellite Warehouse. He listed some of the supplies and tools housed in the satellite warehouse which include: inflatable beds, mattresses, blankets, gas cooker, leather gloves, water boots, safety vests, stretchers, water storage, water pumps, pick axe, fuel storage, among others.
According to Dr. Gonsalves, Bequia's Satellite Warehouse is still under construction. NEMO’s staff and other officials will journey to Union Island for the opening of their Satellite Warehouse next Monday.
Former Deputy Prime Minister and Parliamentary Representative of Marriaqua Mrs. Girlyn Miguel had the honour of cutting the ribbon with Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves.
The Marriaqua Satellite Warehouse, located next to the Levi Latham Polyclinic, was completed at cost of over EC $1 million. This project was implemented through the Regional Disaster Vulnerable Reduction Project (RDVRP) with funding from the World Bank Climate Investment Fund and the European Union.