JAMAICA – An additional $20.5 million is earmarked to continue work in the new fiscal year by the Meteorological Service of Jamaica, to develop a comprehensive Bush Fire Warning Index and Management System.
The allocation is contained in the 2019/20 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.
The project, which commenced in April 2017 and is being financed by the Caribbean Development Bank (CBD), aims to enhance Jamaica’s resilience to bush fire hazards in order to reduce the negative impact on economic activities and livelihoods, as well as infrastructure and human welfare and life.
It is envisaged that this will result from improved monitoring and predictions of critical bush fire outbreaks, and increased public awareness of these hazards.
Achievements, up to December 2018, include: the completion of CDB procurement modules, and evaluation of bids to engage a Data Management Consultant.
Programmed activities for 2019/20 include: finalizing the alerting protocol, inclusive of warning dissemination and roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders by August 2019; and completing a communication strategy, baseline survey and public awareness campaign by September 2019.
The project, which initially ran until November 2018, was extended to December 2019.