BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – In 2017, the Caribbean felt the full brunt of climate change with a warning that current trends indicate that there will be no respite.
Within a two-week period, Hurricanes Irma and Maria brought home the reality of the impact of climate change as they churned their way across the Lesser Antilles destroying everything in their paths. Hurricane Harvey had in August set the stage for what was to come; with devastation in Houston, Texas, amounting to nearly US$200billion.
“The unprecedented nature of this climatic event highlights the unusual nature of weather patterns that continue to affect nations across the globe,” the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary General Irwin LaRocque said in a message to United States President Donald Trump, as Harvey made landfall in the United States after whipping up strong winds and heavy rains in the Caribbean.
It took less than a month for his statement to bear fruit. Hurricanes Irma and Maria, two Category 5 storms left so many Caribbean islands devastated in September that the CARICOM Chairman and Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell said “there can be no question that for us in the Caribbean, climate change is an existential threat”. (more…)
“This massive storm has already claimed lives in many of the countries and has inflicted severe damage to infrastructure in the affected islands,” the Prime Minister said. “I extend condolences to the family of the deceased and to the Governments and Peoples of the countries. It is almost impossible to assess the human cost of disasters such as these,” he added.
Prime Minister Mitchell has been kept abreast of the situation through discussions with CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque and the Executive Director of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, (CDEMA) Mr Ronald Jackson. The Chairman has spoken to the leaders of most of the States already affected by the Hurricane, the Honourable Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Dr the Rt Honourable Timothy Harris, Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis and the Chief Minister of Anguilla, the Honourable Victor Banks.
The Chairman has also been in contact with the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, the Honourable Allen Chastanet, the Lead Head of Government for Sustainable Development including Disaster Management in the CARICOM Quasi Cabinet.
“We hope and pray that the countries in the predicted path of the hurricane, Turks and Caicos Islands, The Bahamas and Haiti are spared its worst effects,” Prime Minister Mitchell said.
“The Community stands ready to render whatever assistance it can to assist in the recovery efforts which are being co-ordinated by CDEMA,” the CARICOM Chairman said.
It is with grave concern that I noted the recent comments made by the Coach of the West Indies cricket team, Mr. Phil Simmons, in which he stated that “outside influences” have had a hand in the selection of the West Indies ODI team.
As Chairman of the CARICOM Sub Committee on Cricket Governance, and as a life long fan of the game, it is my view that West Indies cricket is fortunate to have a leadership team that includes head coach Phil Simmons, captain Jason Holder and chairman of selectors, Clive Lloyd.
The team is now at an important crossroads, and it will require wisdom and good leadership to chart and follow the right path. It will therefore take the skill, motivation and priorities of the men who lead and the players who follow, to restore the team to world prominence.
To that end, the leadership unit must receive the full and unequivocal support and cooperation of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), and the backing of an independent selection panel, that is free of interference, fear, or favour.
Dr. Hon. Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada and Chairman of the CARICOM sub-committee on Cricket Governance
See full Statement: (more…)