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LoGB Statement on Radar

Leader of Government Business and Premier Designate the Hon. McKeeva Bush, OBE, JP

Statement by Leader of Government Business and Premier Designate

the Hon. McKeeva Bush, OBE, JP

For Early Warning Weather Radar for the Cayman Islands Press Briefing

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Good morning.

I am pleased to announce today that Cayman is to benefit from early-warning weather radar that will significantly enhance our Islands' ability to predict severe weather. This will of course boost our disaster preparedness capability.

The radar's acquisition is part of a 4.16 million Euro (US$5.5 million) project funded by the European Commission and supported by the Cayman Islands Government. The project officially began in February this year and its completion date is set for 31 December 2011.

Specifically, this project will see the procurement and installation of a powerful, high-precision Doppler system. Covering a range of 400km (250 miles), the radar will provide weather surveillance over all three islands, as well as surrounding maritime areas. It will also be linked to a regional radar network, including in Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Belize and Guyana.

The European Commission is funding the project to the tune of 4.16 million Euros while the Cayman Islands Government will commit 500,000 representing an in kind contribution.

The EC input will be paid out as follows:

  • A first, pre-financing installment of 231,428 Euros;
  • Two further pre-financing installments of 1,756,286 Euros each; and,
  • A final payment of 416,000 Euros.

Cayman's 500,000 Euros contribution will be directed towards land acquisition, the provision of services and local technical support.

Through the Cayman Islands Airports Authority, which is the implementing agency, Cayman will also assume responsibility for co-ordinating the technical aspects of the project, and for operating and maintaining the radar, once it is installed.

When it comes to disaster management, it is particularly true that strength is to be found in numbers. And while the establishment of this radar system will no doubt strengthen our local disaster management capability, it will even more importantly enable us to better contribute towards regional disaster management and mitigation efforts.

On behalf of the government and people of the Cayman Islands I therefore express sincere appreciation to the European Commission. Special thanks also to the Caribbean Meteorological Organisation team which has been here in Cayman this week, evaluating different locations to help us select the best site for the system.

I also thank our local teams from the CIAA, the Met Office, the Cabinet Office and the Ministry of District Administration, Works and Gender Affairs.

As this project progresses, I look forward to continued collaboration amongst all agencies.

Thank you.

For further information contact: Prudence Barnes