Published 4th May 2007, 4:3pm
Government plans spending $30.3 million in the July 2007 to June 2008 financial year fortifying the Cayman Islands against destruction by hurricanes, and other natural and manmade disasters. This is outlined in the 2007/08 Budget Annual Plan and Estimates (AP&E) and the Annual Budget Statement, a supplementary document to the Appropriation (July 2007 to June 2008) Bill that was tabled in the Legislative Assembly by the Financial Secretary, the Hon. Kenneth Jefferson on 27 April. The decision to inject this money for protection of the Islands and residents is based on policy coming out of one of government's broad outcome goals: 'Deal with the aftermath and lessons learnt from Hurricane Ivan'. "The objective of the government is to continue to build the capability necessary to deal with future disasters and speed up economic recovery," the AP&E stated. Of the $30.3 million, the budget proposes that $1.2 million goes towards strengthening the capacity of Hazard Management Cayman Islands to provide enhanced emergency management services, and another sum of $1.7 for establishment if its headquarters; $3.7 million to expand and upgrade the Emergency Operations Centre; $18 million to begin construction of a hurricane-resistant building for most government departments and statutory authorities; $3 million for re-construction of the Bodden Town Civic Centre; $1 million for eastern districts' sea walls to protect the main road from storm damage; and $1.7 million for the Caribbean Risk Insurance Facility. Subscription to this facility ensures quick available cash in the event of damage by hurricane or earthquake. It is also intended that during the coming financial year, disaster emergency response and readiness will be further strengthened through introduction of new legislation and amendments to an existing law. Government will implement an Emergency Management Law clearly defining the roles of various agencies during such events. And, the National Roads Authority Law will be amended to improve management of storm water and tidal flooding of roads.