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Japanese Volunteer Mr. Yuzo Ota, a geologist and civil engineer by profession is volunteering at NEMO (National Emergency Management Organization) as a Disaster Risk Management Officer, promoting the incorporation of GIS (Geographic Information System) technology for more effectively managing disaster risk in St Lucia.
Mr. Ota has been conducting workshops providing hands-on training in GIS systems to staff members at NEMO, asserting that; “GIS is not just a mapping tool, it can analyze the relationship between data and locational information. It is also important for managing infrastructure and other assets; for example, when a hurricane strikes and a disaster occurs, without a GIS system it is impossible to accurately assess the damage. This is the lessons learned in disaster-prone Japan and if we do not know what the extent of the damage is, we cannot begin to rebuild nor answer quickly to international organizations on amount of aid needed.”
“The ability to use these technologies will completely change the disaster response to date in St. Lucia. Participant will obtain the knowledge on how to share and release disaster information to the government and the public in real time. This will all be possible with an adequate number of persons with GIS skills.”
Mr. Ota has been conducting training 3 days a week since June benefiting the Disaster Management Committee members in southern Castries, while planning to use this as a model to expand to other disaster committees and report to the CDEMA (Caribbean Emergency Disaster Management Agency) as a case study for St. Lucia.
SOURCE: Japan International Cooperation Agency