Quarterly Program Performance Report

 

 

 

 

 

Caribbean Disaster Mitigation Project

First Quarter, 1996

(January - March, 1996)

 

 

 

 

Prepared For:

Cooperative Agreement No. 940-1008-A-00-3522-00

 

 

 

 

 

 

Issued By:

Organization of American States

Department of Regional Development and Environment

1889 F Street N.W.

Washington, DC 20011

April 30, 1996

 

HIGHLIGHTS FOR THIS QUARTER

The fourth meeting of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) was held in Rosslyn, Virginia on March 5-6, 1996. Postponed from late 1995 due to temporary funding problems resulting from the political budget battles in Washington, the meeting nevertheless succeeded in transcending these uncertainties, confirmed the continued support USAID is giving CDMP, and set positive guidelines for the second half of the project's life.

The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has invited the CDMP to undertake a storm hazard assessment for Dominica as part of a loan for the rehabilitation of the coastal infrastructure damaged by Hurricane Luis. A Limited Scope Grant Agreement will specify that CDMP will (1) do a storm surge and wave analysis; (2) formulate design criteria and terms of reference for rehabilitation; and (3) hold 2 workshops in Dominica.

CDMP and the Organization of Insurance Companies of Belize (ORINCO) sponsored a workshop on Disaster Management and the Insurance Industry in March 1996. The workshop was widely attended by participants from the fields of engineering, architecture, insurance, banking, meteorology and planning and resulted in two banks expressing interest in participating in the CDMP safer housing activities, and in the production of an educational/public awareness program by a local radio station and ORINCO. ORINCO represents 73% of the Belize domestic insurance market.

The CDMP regional coordinator and the RHUDO/CAR regional disaster advisor were invited to review the Disaster Management Project of the British Virgin Islands. This project, which used TAOS storm surge modelling software developed by CDMP consultant Watson, has effectively integrated the area of risk mapping with that of coastal development planning, using the Town Planning Department's GIS data base. CDMP will explore ways in which to use the BVI experience to assist the coastal hazard mapping exercise in Jamaica, which so far seems unable to integrate hazard maps in the land use planning process.

SUSTAINABILITY AND LOCAL INVESTMENT

The Cooperación Dominicana para la Mitigación de Desastres (CDMD) was established by Presidential Decree to take on the management of the CDMP activities in the Dominican Republic. This new NGO has wide support among key development NGO's, private companies and the Technical University. The CDMD is operating with a grant from the CDMP and contributions from its members.

Antigua and Barbuda has named an engineer to continue the training in safer construction techniques initially provided by CDMP-supported trainers following the Aug./Sept. 1995 hurricanes.

I. INTRODUCTION

 

A new format is being tested for CDMP's Quarterly Report. The volume of the previous format was the subject of considerable debate during the last meeting of the TAC. The new format omits the cumulative accomplishments. Cumulative information is important, however, in giving an overview of accomplishments since project start-up. It is proposed that the cumulative information be presented separately as an appendix to the quarterly report, on a twice-yearly basis.

The Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) matrix, has been simplified, and now includes, where appropriate, quantitative targets for each of the project activities.

Attached to this quarterly report are:

- Annex 1: Proceedings of the TAC meeting, prepared by Jennifer Worrell

- Annex 2: Report on start-up of CDMP activities in Haiti, prepared by Jennifer Worrell and Jan Vermeiren

- Annex 3: Cost-center table showing overall expenditures by major project activity

- Annex 4: List of CDMP technical reports

 

 

II. DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM/PROJECT ACCOMPLISHMENTS THIS QUARTER

A. Project Management and Administration Functions

The fourth Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meeting was held on March 5-6 in Rosslyn, Va. A full report on the meeting was prepared by Ms. Jennifer Worrell, RHUDO/CAR, and is attached to this report (Annex 1). Key elements for project management and administration resulting from the meeting are:

(1) the quarterly report should be simplified;

(2) quantitative targets are to be set for each of the project components;

(3) the project manager will periodically report on the cost of each project component;

(4) adjust the financial report labels to reflect the USAID terminology.

This report reflects action on each of the four points.

Information Dissemination

A new Progress Bullletin on the project component on Building Codes and Practices was prepared and disseminated.

A list of all technical reports produced by CDMP up to March 1996 was compiled (see Annex 4). The list is being disseminated, and copies of reports are provided upon request. Copies were also distributed at the TAC meeting.

Cost Center Accounting

The Table in Annex 3 provides an overview of the distribution of direct costs of all CDMP activities from project inception through March 1996. Please note that this includes expenditures and commitments made through the end of March 1996. It does not include indirect costs (OAS overhead).

B. Risk Audits and Lifeline/Critical Facility Loss Reduction

Applied Research Associates (ARA), the consulting firm which was contracted to carry out a Hurricane Vulnerability Optimization Study for the Transmission and Distribution (T&D) installations of the St. Vincent and Grenadines utility (VINLEC), successfully completed its field work. CARILEC accompanied all phases of the field work. ARA had to devise a special method to analyze wind load on multiple guyed wood poles. The results of the study will be presented at the CARILEC Engineering Conference in late April. The final report should be available in May 1996.

C. Risk Assessment/Hazard Mapping

a) Jamaica: Montego Bay Coastal Flooding: The Town Planning Department was unable to overlay on their GIS base map the GIS-based flood contour maps produced by CDMP Consultant Watson. The Department requested further assistance, and the CDMP consultant has been asked to provide a copy of the scanned base map and other GIS base information he used for the production of the flood map.

b) Jamaica: Kingston Multi-hazard Mapping. (1) A meeting was held by the Technical Working Group and the UWI Geology Department, consultants for the Landslide Hazard assessment, to review the workplan and activities to date. Data base collection and digitization are well underway. (2) A contract for the seismic hazard assessment component was signed with the UWI Seismic Research Unit in March 1996. Baseline data collection has been initiated.

c) The Caribbean Meteorological Institute (CMI) A follow-up with the Meteorological office in Antigua and Barbuda confirmed that the information on expected storm surge from Hurricane Luis which CMI produced with the TAOS model less than 24 hours before the storm struck, could not be used, for various reasons. Principal among these are: the lack of a location-specific operational warning and evacuation plan, and the timing of the warning. CDMP and CMI have reviewed this information, and have agreed to collaborate on the systematic production of coastal surge maps for different storms and angles of approach, which the countries could use to prepare emergency warning and evacuation plans. CMI agreed to prepare a proposal and to seek guidance from the next RAIV Hurricane Committee meeting in Puerto Rico at the end of April 1996.

d) Belize: Flood Hazard Assessment. CDMP received the necessary rainfall, stream gauge and river cross-section data to be able to start the flood hazard assessment for the Belize River. Construction of the model was completed by the end of this period. The analysis is scheduled to be completed by the end of the next quarter. The Director of the National Meteorological Office and the National Hydrological Office presented the results of the coastal flooding hazard assessment at a national seminar on insurance issues organized by the ORINCO.

e) Dominican Republic. The CDMP manager and the local CDMD coordinator met with the Association of Hotels and Restaurants (ASONAHORES) to solicit their support for a coastal hazard assessment in resort areas. They agreed to participate in some of the workshops of the CDMD. The Military Cartographic Institute presented a proposal for the preparation of storm surge maps for the CDMD.

D. Improved Building Standards, Codes and Practices

1. Joint UNCHS/CDMP Building Code Strengthening Exercise for OECS Countries

The CDMP regional coordinator met with the UNCHS representative to review proposed workplans for Dominica and St. Lucia. Start-up in Dominica is scheduled for mid-April, with a workshop for architects, builders, engineers and contractors.

The Development Control Authority of Antigua/Barbuda requested assistance from the CDMP in development approval and code enforcement. CDMP has submitted the names of two resource persons who could provide this assistance. An answer is awaited.

2. St. Lucia and Dominica Low-Income Housing Retrofit Pilot Projects

Events in 1995 and 1996 indicate that this project component is having an impact beyond the shores of the two pilot countries. Trainees from Dominica participated in hurricane reconstruction in Antigua, and a training workshop by CARITAS in St. Lucia was attended by a builder from Trinidad. Replication of this project will also be undertaken in Antigua and Barbuda during 1996.

1) Saint Lucia: CARITAS organized a new training course, with Steve Hodges of CRDC Jamaica and George Dujon of Sir Arthur Lewis College of St. Lucia as trainers. The National Disaster Coordinator also participated in this activity, which included the installation of framing anchors, clamps and straps. Five more houses were retrofitted during this period, and ten houses were inspected and slated for retrofitting.

2) Dominica: CHF and NDFD exchanged opinions regarding NDFD's request to increase the loan ceiling to EC$5,000.00, and the preparation of the final report for Phase I.

The survey which NDFD undertook of builders trained under the project, to determine among other things the total number of buildings retrofitted outside of the loan program, shows that 35 additional houses have been retrofitted using the skills and techniques learned.

3) Antigua and Barbuda, A request from the Antigua National Development Foundation for assistance in starting a safe roof campaign was approved at the TAC meeting. This will be formalized following the Regional Lessons Learned workshop.

E. Property Insurers' Risk Management

a) In Jamaica, Activities suspended due to lack of progress.

b) CARICOM Working Party on Insurance and Reinsurance: The working party met one last time at CARICOM's headquarters in Guyana to review and finalize the report, which was prepared with significant support from CDMP. CDMP consultant Evans and project manager Vermeiren participated in this 2-day meeting. The report was presented at the recent Inter-sessional Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government, held in Guyana February 29 to March 1, 1996.

c) In Belize, CDMP and the Organization of Insurance Companies of Belize (ORINCO) sponsored a workshop on Disaster Management and the Insurance Industry on March 15-16, 1996. The workshop was attended by over 70 persons from the fields of engineering, architecture, insurance, banking, meteorology and planning. CDMP sponsored participation of the regional coordinator, Mr. Granger from CARICOM, and resource persons Arthur Evans and Tony Gibbs. The national meteorological Director, Carlos Fuller, presented the coastal flood hazard study done by CDMP. The Prime Minister, Hon. Manuel Esquivel, gave a luncheon address. Results from the workshop are: (1) interest by two local banks to include a retrofit/safe construction component in their ongoing mortgage lending program; (2) an initiative by a local radio station to work with the insurance industry on an educational program on disaster management.

DECISION NEEDED: How much support can CDMP give these initiatives, given the close-down of USAID-Belize in June 1996 .

F. Community Disaster Preparedness:

1. Dominican Republic

a) Training the trainers: The TT Team prepared for the Second National Course of Disaster Administration (I) (APD I) to be held April 22-26 in Santo Domingo. The course will be adapted for the special needs of the private sector, which responded enthusiastically by sponsoring participants from a major communications firm, a major hotel chain and several industries in high risk areas.

b) Coordination and Communication: The CC Team continued an active agenda of presentations to the Association of Shipping Container Companies, the Industrial Free Zone of the Haina Port (PIISA), a week-long fair for schools, a presentation of effects of Hurricane David on the Haina Port, and a presentation by a representative of Sea-Land Service on container lashing configurations. As a result of the presentations, the Shipping Container Transporters have carried out their own hurricane simulation and will attend, on April 19th in the OAS office, the hurricane simulation prepared for the companies operating in the Haina Port region. Meetings were held with the Director of the Drainage Department of the Government and the owners of private businesses dedicated to drilling and industrial cleaning to address the problem of inner city drainage, in particular flooding witnessed with regular downpours and the inestimable damage, should a hurricane occur. As a result, the CDMP began a campaign to mobilize the private sector on their role in improving city drainage, which now only covers 10% of the urban area.

c) Information: A third informational Bulletin was prepared and distributed, and the CDMP office received very positive feedback. The topic of special interest was the seismic risk of the island, including maps of the Caribbean region's tectonic activity and the geological faults affecting the island of Hispaniola. Hurricane Season Calendar/Posters for 1996 and Brochures were produced, providing a graphic and textual explanation of what to do before, during, and after a hurricane and an earthquake. These were distributed widely and received a great deal of positive feedback from business and communities.

d) Community Education: Due to internal difficulties, the NGO World Vision was unable to implement leadership of this element during the first quarter of 1996. The CDMP coordinator continued to fulfill this responsibility in coordination with the Red Cross Representative. During the first quarter of 1996, approximately twenty of the thirty workshops slated were carried out. Many important contacts were established to allow for the implementation of the Community Disaster Preparedness Workshops in key high risk areas such as Higuey and the southern region from the Haina Port to San Cristobal and Najayo region. In addition, ten CDMP-trained workshop facilitators attended a Red Cross-sponsored workshop on Emergency Shelter Administration from February 8-10.

e) Community Initiatives: The C.I. Team received and reviewed the guidelines and procedures for implementation of this element, and established the operating strategy for the following six months, including the development and sponsoring of courses to orient the Community Disaster Preparedness Workshop facilitators regarding the Co-financing process and procedures so that they may serve as primary screeners and facilitators to communities able to tender a successful proposal. Short courses will also be given to help applicants through the process of application, approval and implementation.

 

 

 

2. Haiti

 

With the installation of the new government completed during this quarter, preparations were being made for a visit to Haiti by CDMP project manager Jan Vermeiren and RHUDO/CAR Regional Disaster Advisor in April. Even though the results of this mission should be reported in next quarter's report, it was decided to anticipate some of the main results in this report. A copy of the mission report is attached in Annex 2.

Main results of the mission are:

Endorsement by Government of the project and its orientation towards preparedness and collaboration with private sector and NGO's.

Selection of local project coordinator, and start-up of contracting.

Arrangements made to locate the project office in Red Cross.

G. Post-Disaster Mitigation Missions

Dominica: The CDMP project manager visited Dominica to follow up on the arrangements made during the prior quarter by USAID and CDB for providing grant and loan funding, respectively, for coastal rehabilitation work. CDMP submitted a proposed workplan to CDB and the Government of Dominica which includes (a) a detailed storm surge and wave action assessment; (b) geotechnical investigations; (c) determination of maximum wave forces; (d) the formulation of design criteria for all coastal construction; and, (e) workshops and meetings with local engineers to ensure proper implementation of the criteria. Formalization of the workplan was awaiting the signing of a Limited Scope Grant Agreement between USAID, CDB and the Government of Dominica, which will include funding earmarked for the CDMP work.

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H. Regional Workshops

No regional workshops took place during this quarter.

 

 

 

III. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

 

As suggested at the last TAC meeting, this section has been consolidated into the highlights.