The Minister said it was critically important to replace the 20-year-old almost obsolete system that once stood tall as the first Doppler radar to be installed in the English-speaking Caribbean, citing the increasing failure of the aged system. The new system, he said, signals a resolve to meet the global challenges of weather and climate that face this and future generations head on.
Minister Vaz, was speaking at the contract signing for the design, supply and installation of the US$2,449,203 S-band Doppler Weather Radar to be situated at Cooper’s Hill in St. Andrew. The signing of the contract took place at The Pavilion, Terra Nova Hotel and Suites today.
The Minister said that the installation of this Weather Radar will greatly enhance the country’s ability to achieve its Vision 2030 milestones, based on its capacity to pinpoint the location and movement of rainfall cells anywhere over the country and as far away as the Cayman Islands, south-eastern Cuba and Western Haiti.
“Jamaica will also be able to better serve the Caribbean Community as we integrate our observations into the mosaic of stations under operation in the region, and also contribute to the surveillance of the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, under their Tropical Cyclone Programme,” the Minister noted.
“We have a very clear vision moving into the next decade,” the Minister said, adding that Jamaica is focused on achieving Outcome 14 under the fourth National Development Goal of “Hazard Risk Reduction and Adaptation to Climate Change”. “We firmly believe that adequate monitoring of natural hazards is pivotal to implementing that strategy”, he noted.
Minister Vaz added that the country has also adopted Target G of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction to “Substantially increase the availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information and assessments to the people by 2030”.
Meanwhile, the Minister noted that it is particularly encouraging that Enterprise Electronics Corporation (EEC), which is charged with delivering and installing the radar system, has made a commitment to provide critical after-sales service by facilitating capacity building for a team of engineers and operators of the equipment.
“It is also my understanding that the contract includes a lifetime guarantee of maintenance support and availability of spare parts, which we consider critical for the system’s sustainable operations,” the Minister added, while generously thanking them.
Minister Vaz commended the World Bank for their invaluable support in accessing the Climate Investment Funds that are being utilized to make this important Project a reality.
“Let me charge EEC now to do whatever is possible to ensure that we see the radar delivered and installed as close as possible to the start of the 2020 Hurricane Season 2020,” the Minister said.
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