Quarterly Program Performance Report






Caribbean Disaster Mitigation Project

Fourth Quarter, 1996

(October - December, 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

January 31, 1997



· In October 1996, the CDMP organized a regional "Lessons Learned" workshop in St. Lucia where the experiences from the safer construction and housing retrofit pilot activities in St. Lucia and Dominica were presented and discussed with 40 participants representing NGO’s and government agencies of 11 countries, including all Eastern Caribbean countries, the Dominican Republic, Belize and the OECS Secretariat and the CDB.

· The workshop also was instrumental in re-forging the alliance between CARITAS and NRDF in St. Lucia. Both agencies have indicated their willingness to collaborate in targeting different groups, and in collaborating with CDMP to implement a mechanism for ensuring that minimum standards are applied in retrofit activities.

· As per decision of the fourth TAC meeting, the wider impact of the St. Lucia and Dominica pilot projects was evaluated prior to the Lessons Learned workshop. The reults of that evaluation are seen on the next page.

· The CDMP was asked by the CDB to do a study of the storm surge and wave hazards affecting the west coast of Dominica in preparation for a loan for the rehabilitation of sea-defences damaged by Hurricanes Luis and Marilyn. The study will serve to set design standards for coastal construction in Dominica.

· The Cooperación Dominicana para la Mitigación de Desastres (CDMD) has concluded a successful first year of operations. It initiated an affiliation campaign among NGO’s and private sector companies, collecting yearly fees according to size. It already has some key NGOs and major international and local businesses as members and is expanding the membership. CDMD practices cost sharing and cost recovery for all training exercises it organizes, and charges a fee for events benefitting the private sector. It also has also begun to represent selected products and services which help to create a disaster mitigation culture as well as generate funds for activities. By these means it was able to generate revenues equivalent to 15% of the contribution received from OAS.


· Attached to this quarterly report are:

- Annex 1: Financial report through December 1996.

- Annex 2: Cumulative cost center accounting through December 1996


A. Project Management and Administration Functions

After careful consideration of managerial and budgetary factors, a decision was taken to phase out the position of Regional Coordinator of the CDMP, effective January 31, 1997. Mr. Keith Ford will continue his association with the project as a consultant for project activities directly in his area of expertise, such as building code and housing retrofit training activities.

M&E consultant Jinx Parker visited St. Lucia to participate in the "Lessons Learned" workshop on October 28/29, and took advantage of her presence in St. Lucia to review CARILEC's follow-up on publication of the Manual for Electrical Utilities.

From St. Lucia, the M&E consultant went to the BVI. There she documented the status of the BVI Hazard and Risk Assessment Project as an example of a replication of CDMP methodology in storm hazard assessment.


Project Information Dissemination

Wide dissemination was given to the reports and publications of the CDMP at various regional meetings and seminars. A full set of reports was sent to CDERA, CDB, the Engineering Faculty of the University of the West Indies at St. Augustine, and the Tropical Phenomena Curriculum Project at the University of the Virgin Islands. CDMP achievements and publications were also promoted in the Hemispheric Congress on Disaster Reduction and Sustainable Development in Miami, Sept 29 - Oct 2, and in the Regional Seminar on Science, Natural Disasters and Hazards in Jamaica, Oct 9 - 11.

The CDMP coordinator gave an invited presentation on "The Caribbean Disaster Mitigation Project: Introducing Disaster Mitigation in Highly Vulnerable Small Islands" at the Natural Disaster Reduction Conference of the American Society of Civil Engineers in Washington, Dec 3 - 5.

During this quarter, CDMP also started constructing a WEB Site, which should be fully operational by the end of the first quarter of 1997. The WEB site can be reached at 'http://www.methaz.com/cdmp.html'. This WEB site was used at the end of last year’s hurricane season to display the storm surge and maximum wind outputs of the TAOS model, generated using the hurricane forecasts produced every 6 hours by the National Hurricane Center.

B. Risk Audits and Lifeline/Critical Facility Loss Reduction

Arrangements were made with CARILEC and participating national electrical utilities (LUCELEC), DOMLEC and VINLEC) for an evaluation of this activity during the last quarter of 1996. CARILEC's initiative to set up a risk management/insurance pool for its members with financial assistance from IDB and CDB was put on hold as CARILEC members explore the possibility of joining the existing Barbados Light and Power Initiative.

C. Risk Assessment/Hazard Mapping

a) Jamaica: Montego Bay Coastal Flooding:

At the end of 1996, there was little or no follow up on the part of the TWG agencies to the June workshop organized by CDMP. The objective of this workshop was to provide the Town Planning Department with the capacity to use the coastal flooding information produced by the TAOS model.

The JIE submitted a brief report on the 1912 hurricane, based on information provided by Cuba. It contains sketchy information about maximum winds and track, but seems to contradict the information on that storm’s track contained in the NHC HURDAT data base. CDMP sent the information to the NHC for comments. The JIE also continued to contest the statistical analysis of the HURDAT data used by CDMP to arrive at return times. To circumvent this problem, CDMP proposed that the JIE and the Jamaica Meteorological Office select any historical or hypothetical storm they consider representative of the "Fifty Year" event. No response has been received.

In an effort to keep activities moving, CDMP also proposed putting the Montego Bay storm surge mapping exercise on hold, while starting the storm surge assessment for the KMA. The JIE would be full participants in the KMA assessment from the beginning. Communications were exchanged with the JIE on this matter.

b) Jamaica: Kingston Multi-hazard Mapping:

The original workplan for the landslide hazard assessment, contracted with the UWI Geology Department, called for completion of this activity by the end of 1996. An apparent lack of willingness on the part of the Survey Department to provide access to base maps resulted in significant delays. By the end of the quarter, the contractor was unable to give an estimated completion date. All field work and landslide inventory mapping was completed in 1996. GIS analysis of the landslide inventory and relevant thematic maps is planned for 1997, as soon as the long promised mylar separates are obtained from the Survey Department.

The Seismic Research Unit (SRU) of UWI continued with the Phase I of the seismic hazard assessment. The catalog of independent seismic events and the correlation between fault zones and geophysical features was completed, as were the mapping of bedrock, surface geology, and groundwater depth by the Geologic Survey Division of GoJ under contract with the SRU. Some delays in execution were experienced by both agencies, due to problems with obtaining information from other agencies, malfunctioning of equipment and shortage of staff. Completion of the phase I assignment is now expected before the end of the first quarter. The SRU also requested assistance with training in IDRISI. CDMP and SRU are exploring the different options to meet this need.

Start-up of the KMA storm surge hazard assessment was delayed due to the slow progress with the Montego Bay storm surge assessment, and the continued questioning by the JIE of the assessment methodology and approach. With the lack of significant progress following the workshop for the Town Planning Department in June 1996, it was decided to put the Montego Bay activities on hold, pending completion of the Kingston Multi-hazard work.

c) Belize: Flood Hazard Assessment:

During this quarter, CDMP completed the river flooding model which incorporates river routing, river section profiles, rainfall data and hydrograph readings and locations. The lack of spatially distributed rainfall data and the size and complexity of the basin caused instability in the traditional HEC model. Other hydrologic models were then tested. This included a finite element model of the US Army Corps of Engineers and the University of Oklahoma, and a newer, fully distributed version, CAS2D, also developed by the USACOE. This last model provided satisfactory results. The model is fully integrated with GRASS, a public domain GIS program, which is already being used by the Belize Hydro-Met Service. The Belize Hydro-Met Service has access to the model through the WEB and is carrying out a review and calibration with support from the CDMP consultant. This phase should be completed by the end of the first quarter of 1997, after which it will be physically installed in Belize.

d) Regional Hurricane Preparedness and Mitigation

Storm modelling support at CMI

During this quarter, CMI continued to use the TAOS model with technical support from CDMP. CMI also used the model in its regularly scheduled training sessions for weather forecasters. CMI prepared a report on the problems experienced in data input and display of surge contours, which was used in the revision and upgrade of the TAOS model. The new version, called TAOS/L, will have a much improved user interface, and will use a map display program already familiar to the meteorological offices in the region. Work on TAOS/L was largely completed by the end of 1996, and will be presented at the March 1997 workshop at the National Hurricane Center (NHC). Installation of the new version at CMI is scheduled for April 1997.

Regional Workshop in Hurricane Preparedness

The 18th RAIV meeting in Puerto Rico, April 1996, recommended that NOAA and USAID/OAS-CDMP collaborate in training Caribbean Meteorological officers and National Disaster Coordinators in proper use and interpretation of hurricane forecasts and storm surge models for hurricane preparedness and inter-agency coordination in hurricane preparedness and evacuation decision making. During this quarter all necessary preparations were made for the workshop, including identification of participants by CMI and CDERA, and formulation of workshop agenda. The workshop is planned for March 3 to 6, 1997, at the NHC, and will be sponsored by CDMP and NOAA in conjunction with CMI and CDERA. The new TAOS/L model will be presented at the workshop.

National Level Mitigation Planning

During the last quarter of 1996, CDMP and CDERA designed and initiated a joint effort to improve the mitigation planning capacity of national disaster coordinators. This activity is being developed in conjunction with the DERMS project under implementation by CDERA. A first technical meeting between CDERA/DERMS, CDMP and two national disaster coordinators was held in Barbados in December 1996, leading to the formulation of a workplan for this activity.


D. Improved Building Standards, Codes and Practices

a) Joint UNCHS/CDMP Building Code Strengthening Exercise for OECS Countries

During this year, the government of Antigua and Barbuda passed the new Land Development and Control Regulations, whose 4th schedule requires compliance with the DCA-published code and guidelines. Also, the DCA used some of the UNCHS/CDMP sponsored code to prepare posters and brochures for a Hurricane Preparedness exhibition.

A first visit to Dominica by UNCHS/CDMP consultants took place in November, to initiate the introduction of the building code in that island. Technical assistance will be continued during the first quarter of 1997, with the review and adaptation of the model building code through a series of technical meetings with government agencies and professional groups and the preparation of legal and technical documents. A report on the activity is expected by early April 1997.

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

St. Lucia

After attending the Lessons Learned Conference, the CARITAS program has moved forward on a new course. Having signed the contract with the OAS, CARITAS hired a Retrofitting and Safer Housing Project Officer, Mr. Paul Lawrence. The appointment became effective on December 2, 1996. With the assistance of CHF staff, arrangements were made with the U.S. Peace Corps for the half-time assignment of Ms. Jan Hugh to assist with the community outreach, follow-up on loan applications and organize training workshops.

The Project Review committee met and approved ten new loan applications, with the home improvement and retrofitting work to begin in January. The needed remedial work on 13 houses was completed in early November at a total cost of EC $6,682.87 which was made available by the OAS. This was designed to bring up to the minimum standard, houses which were retrofitted without proper technical guidance during the interim period.

An agreement was reached with NRDF, effective 1/1/97, that NRDF will pass to CARITAS loan applications which are projected to be less than EC $3000. In coming months other areas of possible cooperation will be explored. CHF Program Manager John Chromy approached Manager of Barclay’s Bank in St. Lucia to explore additional donations to the project. The Barclay’s manager indicated he had already budgeted an amount for this program. CARITAS Regional Coordinator was instructed to approach Barclay’s Bank manager early in 1997 to obtain this contribution.



Significant attention was given to outstanding loans during this quarter to ensure timely repayment. One of the original seven loans disbursed for home retrofitting has now been completely repaid, an additional four loans will be repaid fully in the coming three months, and the August 1996 loan is being repaid on schedule. One loan is in serious arrears but payments are now being made.

Based on the information received at the Lessons Learned Conference, NDFD is re-packaging its loan promotion approach and will implement a variety of publicity techniques early in 1997 to promote the program. Community level outreach meetings were conducted in St. Joseph and Penville. Approximately 70 people attended the meetings after heavy promotion via radio, community and church groups and personal contact. Very few loan applicants were identified in these meetings because of the extreme poverty of the communities. Catholic Relief Services may in fact repair several houses through grants.

As of 12/31/96, the loan portfolio balance stood at EC $5,246.16 with a pending line of credit available from CHF for an additional U.S. $10,000. The latter is a 4% interest loan that can be drawn down as soon as loan applications that meet the criteria are approved.

NDFD representatives attended the Lessons Learned Conference and returned with numerous ideas for more effective outreach strategies which are to be compiled into a comprehensive plan in early 1997.


Other Developments

In follow-up to its participation in the Lessons Learned workshop, CARIPEDA of St. Vincent communicated its interest in entering the CDMP program and being eligible for loan funds. A reply was given outlining the types of support CDMP and CHF could provide in introducing a Safer Construction program in St. Vincent.

The Antigua National Development Fund initiated a safer construction component following the 1995 storms, loaning EC $382,000 of its funds. NDF wishes to continue and expand this program and need to raise its construction standards and inspection capabilities. NDF has communicated with CHF, indicating that with the adjustments made in the Safer Construction program at the Lessons Learned Conference, it is possible for NDF of Antigua to participate aggressively in the program. They have been requested to submit an updated plan to OAS and CHF.

Following the participation of the Caribbean Development Bank in the Lessons Learned workshop, a dialogue was initiated with CDB regarding its possible participation in establishing a regional line of credit for the Safer Construction program.

During this quarter CHF continued its efforts in obtaining contributions to the revolving loan fund from US based foundations with international programs in the housing area.

CHF also prepared a draft "Tool Kit" for Safer Construction programs, which should be useful for any organization contemplating a similar program. The draft tool kit was distributed at the Lessons Learned workshop in St. Lucia, and comments were solicited from the participants.


E. Property Insurers' Risk Management

As a follow-up to the CARICOM working party's report on Insurance and Reinsurance, the World Bank contracted the Insurance Information Institute of New York to carry out a feasibility study of regional risk pooling. This study is to be completed in March 1997. The World Bank and CDMP are planning a meeting at CDB to present the study and address follow-up to the Working Party report.


F. Community Disaster Preparedness:

a) Dominican Republic

1) Training: Representatives from CII-VIVIENDAS, Fundación Habitat and Ciudad Alternativa attended the OAS/CDMP-sponsored Lessons Learned Workshop in October in St. Lucia on Disaster Mitigation Techniques for Low Income Housing. In November, two members of the CDMD Training Team received certification as instructors of OFDA´s Disaster Administration Course in Panama. The CDMD Coordinator contributed to the adaptation of OFDA´s Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis Course for the English-speaking Caribbean and African nations held in Montserrat. The CDMD representatives spoke with OFDA executives regarding serving as a Caribbean extension for OFDA training in the region. These representatives presented a letter of intent to OFDA to support Disaster Management training in the Caribbean on OFDA´s behalf.

2) Coordination and Communication: The CDMD Coordinator participated in a meeting to structure a Hemispheric Program for Natural Disaster Vulnerability Reduction in the Education Sector on October 3 in Miami and as a result has established a data base of the D.R.´s private schools. These schools will meet in February to obtain informational materials and create a coordination and communication mechanism to prepare for and respond to disasters. Three IDNDR International Day for Disaster Reduction presentations were made in October. The CDMD held its 2nd Annual Meeting November 21 to present the year´s activities and impacts and to recognize outstanding contributions to vulnerability reduction in the D.R.

3) Information: During October, the 6th CDMD Information Bulletin was distributed nation-wide. Re-edited brochures on what to do before, during and after hurricanes and earthquakes were distributed in communities and in local as well as international meeting events. The library of video and printed materials was up-dated. The CDMD has over 50 VHS tapes and 18 pages of titles of books, pamphlets, presentations and information available to its members and interested organizations, businesses and schools. The Coordinator presented USAID/OAS-CDMP activities during the ICAROS roving seminar held in Venezuela in November. The USAID/OAS Caribbean Disaster Mitigation Project received coverage in two television newscasts and in over a dozen newspaper articles, two of which were dedicated exclusively to the CDMP. The Coordinator maintained an active agenda of meetings and presentations to various organizations and businesses during the quarter.

4) Community Education: 32 Community Disaster Preparedness Workshops were held between October and December in high risk communities. Since October 1995, 122 workshops have been held, reaching over 3,660 adults in high risk communities. Participants learned what a disaster is, how to identify their vulnerabilities, how to inventory their community´s human and material resources, and finally—as a community—how to prepare a Community Emergency Plan to address the identified vulnerabilities. The impact has been impressive and the communities have implemented projects on their own, such as the construction of speed-bumps and roads, the improvement of roads and drainage systems, and the embankment of erosive slopes.

The CDMD regained control of the program´s administration since the NGO World Vision was unable to continue this function. World Vision, however, has assigned part of its own budget to assure that 18 of the communities it serves can attend the workshop in 1997 and receive materials from the CDMD.

The CDMD will hold at least two training sessions for facilitators from new NGO´s to be integrated into the program. The purpose of these training sessions is to increase local capacity, to reduce travel-related costs, to increase the sustainability of the program and to decrease reliance on the Red Cross Volunteers who often are called away from scheduled workshops to attend to local emergencies. The first of these sessions is scheduled for February 4 and 5, 1997.

5) Community Initiatives: The Community Initiatives Facilitator has held 13 meetings with NGO´s and communities each month and traveled to communities to explain and/or follow up on the application process. This process has been more time consuming than anticipated, since the communities must prepare their own proposal and budget. However, this extra work has been beneficial for the communities since they have also learned to obtain support from other agencies and organizations. In some cases, the community has been able to obtain formal commitments from the government. In La Gina in Miches, for example, the government agreed to build a bridge which would allow transportation in and out of the community for commerce and for evacuation when flood waters rise.

The CDMD has received five project summaries which have been evaluated and returned for adjustments and correction. Two of the proposals are almost ready for consideration by the C.I. team. Each project proposes between 50 and 75 per cent community contribution towards the total value of the project.

b. Haiti

1) Information: During this quarter, the national coordinator traveled extensively to highly vulnerable areas through the southern peninsula (Jacmel, Grand’Anse and Jeremie) to evaluate the existing situation with regards to local disaster committees. During these visits, the coordinator found little or no preparedness, unmet expectations and high levels of frustration with the national disaster management system. Key individuals and agencies were identified in each area to participate in future CDMP supported activities aimed at disaster preparedness and vulnerability reduction.

CDMP arranged for two one-hour broadcasts on Radio Lumiere, with participation of OPDES and the National Meteorological Center, on Hurricane Marco and disaster preparedness. CDMP also participated in a Health Fair in Grand’Anse.

2) Coordination/collaboration: Regular contacts continued with the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Interior and OPDES, Red Cross International Federation and National Organization, and Catholic Relief Services (CRS). The consultant contracted to assist the Ministry of the Environment with incorporating the link between disaster vulnerability and environmental degradation into the National Environmental Action Plan (NEAP). The national consultation on the NEAP was postponed until March 1997.

3) Training: Arrangements were finalized with OFDA regarding the use of the OFDA training course "Train the Trainers". CDMP will translate the text from English to French, and OFDA will sponsor the participation of four trainers in a training course scheduled for the Dominican Republic in March 1997. The four participants will be selected from among the highly vulnerable areas where CDMP is planning to introduce disaster preparedness and management coordination.


G. Post-Disaster Mitigation

Dominica—CDB Coastal Rehabilitation Loan:

CDMP received comments from the Government of Dominica and CEP on the storm surge and wave action study which was completed during the previous quarter, and reviewed and finalized the study. In November, the Government of Dominica selected an engineering consultant to carry out the geotechnical investigations and to prepare designs for the coastal defense rehabilitation.


H. Dominica: Land Use Planning

USAID has earmarked $100,000 for this activity, on the basis of a request by the Government of Dominica following Hurricanes Luis and Marilyn, and a follow-up mission to Dominica by USAID/CORA. During this quarter, a local coordinator was hired and a project workplan was prepared in consultation with Dominica counterpart agencies. A list of office furniture, computer hardware and GIS software needs in the Physical Planning Unit was developed with the assistance of CDMP. Furniture and computer hardware orders have been placed.


I. Regional Workshops

a) Regional Seminar on Science, Natural Disasters and Hazards. Jamaica, October 9-11, 1996

This seminar was held as part of the activities commemorating the annual observation of IDNDR day. The seminar was convened by the Geology and Geography Dept. of the UWI with sponsorship provided by a number of agencies and organizations including the USAID/OAS-CDMP, PAHO, Shell Oil Co. and the Centre for Environment and Development at the university (UWICED).

The seminar was held at the Pegasus Hotel and was attended by representatives from several Caribbean, Latin American, North American and European countries. A total of five papers on CDMP-related project areas were presented by project contractors and consultants. Papers were also presented by the CDMP Regional Coordinator and the USAID Regional Disaster Advisor. Presentations covered activities in the area of landslide and earthquake mapping, disaster mitigation and a review of the CDMP. The publication of the proceedings is to be partially covered by the CDMP. As part of this arrangement, fifty copies of the published report will be sent to the CDMP.

b) St. Lucia Lessons Learned Workshop, St. Lucia, October 28-29, 1996.

This activity was held at the Bay Gardens Hotel in St. Lucia, and was attended by forty participants from NGO’s and some governmental agencies from eleven countries. The main speaker at the opening ceremony was the Hon. Michael Pilgrim, Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Housing, Urban Renewal and Financial Services.

The principal objective of the workshop was to give interested organizations from other Caribbean countries the opportunity to review the Housing Retrofit pilot programmes in Dominica and St. Lucia, and to discuss successes and constraints. A complementary objective was to develop new or modify existing procedures for ensuring a sustainable continuation of the project in the two pilot countries, and to support its expansion into other countries.

The three major opportunities for program adjustment emerged during the workshop:

(a) Greater demand for safer construction if integrated into existing home improvement programs.

(b) The potential for broadening the source of funds which support the revolving loan funds.

(c) Expanding the base of interested residents by increasing the present loan ceiling from the current amount of EC$5,000.00, which would provide access to interested residents of higher income brackets, without lessening the commitment of the programme to lower income residents.

Options for implementing the above were reviewed in in-depth work sessions, which focused on specific management and technical issues.

c) ICAROS 1996 Seminar, Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela, November 25-29, 1996.

Mrs. Christina Herridge de Guerrero, Coordinator of the Asociacion Dominicana de Mitigacion de Desastres (ADMD) in the Dominican Republic participated in this seminar as representative of the USAID/OAS-CDMP. The seminar provided an opportunity for exchange of information on disaster management in the Caribbean, and was attended by representatives of the French and Venezuelan governments, key International and Regional institutions involved in disaster management, and regional experts in the field. Mrs. Herridge de Guerrero gave a presentation on the progress and achievements of the CDMP, and participated in key thematic and policy sessions.