NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Bahamas must develop a culture of resilience that is ‘proactive and not reactive’ in the face of consistent hurricane threats, a regional geographer and consultant has urged.
Jeremy Collymore, resilience consultant and advisor at the University of the West Indies spoke at a workshop for Recovery Policy, Recovery Plan and the Institutional Arrangement for Implementation yesterday.
Collymore noted that between 2010 and 2017 Caribbean nations lost roughly $27 billion from natural disasters such as hurricanes, with Hurricane Dorian alone causing an estimated $3.4 billion in damages to The Bahamas.
“A resilience culture that is proactive and not reactive is timely and necessary,” he said.
“In the case of recovery, despite the numerous events we have had, recovery has still been a reactive exercise.
“We have to change the culture in relation to this changing culture of hurricane experiences. It can no longer be business as usual. We need a recovery agenda that is not only strategic but builds on the idea of resilient development.”
Collymore called for a recovery mechanism that is risk informed and evidence based.
“This ad hoc nature of what we do has to be revisited. Dorian has proved for us some teachable moments,” he said.
“What it has said to to us is that there are gaps in public policy as it relates to the management of hazard and risk.”