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BVI to pioneer smart emergency shelter standards regionally, says PAHO representative

A section of the main island of Tortola. (Photo by Davion Smith/BVI News)

The British Virgin Islands is developing smart emergency shelter standards which will be used within other countries in the region.

This is according to a statement from Pan American Health Organisation representative, Dr Jean Marie Rwangabwoba. In his absence, the statement was read at the launch of the territory’s Emergency Shelter Repair Project on Tuesday, October 29.

“The British Virgin Islands have for many years positioned themselves to be a model for the region in the field of disaster management and so it is only fitting that this will be done here,” the statement read.

Neighbouring Island to adopt standards

It further revealed that a neighbouring island will be the first to adopt the standards developed in the BVI, once the project has been completed.

“It is expected that the methods and the deliverables from this project will be used to support a similar project on the island of St Martin which is also to be implemented by PAHO and funding by our European Union partners.”

Dr Rwangabwoba’s statement also revealed PAHO’s smart hospital model is being used to apply safety and green standards to the retro-fitting work being done to the emergency shelters.

“This project has therefore been designated to not only address the physical structures but to build the capacity of those persons who will be involved in designing new structures, maintaining them and ensuring that optimal operations of each facility, during emergency or nonemergency times,” Rwangabwoba’s statement further read.

Shelters to receive highest resilient standards

Meanwhile, representative of the European Union (EU) Luis Maia said that selected shelters will be rehabilitated to the highest resilient standards, and will be pre-stocked with all the necessary emergency relief items.

He also said the training will educate members in various communities on what to do following any major disasters.

“This action will also include the development of a training plan in sensitising BVI communities on disaster response strategies in services offered in the shelters in providing shelter management training to target community members,” Maia stated.

The project is being funded by the EU through a €2 million grant and is a partnership between the Department of Disaster Management, the Ministry of Health, and the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) who will be providing technical oversight.


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1 Comment

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  1. Too True says:

    Well let’s make sure the shelters are at least 30 feet above sea level so they don’t get flooded!!!

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