BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, (June 29, 2018 )— Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr the Hon Timothy Harris, Friday June 29 announced the appointment of Mr Abdias Samuel as the new National Disaster Coordinator for the Government’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) effective July 1.
Prime Minister Harris, who made the announcement at a meeting with NEMA staff members at the National Emergency Management Agency’s boardroom in Lime Kiln, Basseterre, observed that Mr Samuel was no stranger to them and the agency having worked with NEMA in matters to do with hurricanes and other events.
Samuel is a Dominican Republic Born National of St.Kitts-Nevis and is the first Dominican to be appointed to head a Government Agency.
The appointment speaks volumes of the progress that members of the Spanish Community has made in the federation , particularly over the last 3 years. In March the Team Unity administration held it’s first Hispanic Community Townhall Meeting which drew well over 300 Hispanic nationals living in the federation. Director Samuel led and facilitated the unprecedented meeting . The townhall provided a forum for the Hispanic Community to express many concerns affecting them. They lauded the Team Unity administration for providing such a forum.
Director Samuel is a long serving Fire Officer and has distinguished himself as outlined by PM Harris in his comments at the announcment ceremony event
“He has distinguished himself well as a Fire Officer of great repute and has had significant exposure regionally in relation to fire and rescue,” said Prime Minister Harris. Mr Samuel is the Deputy Chief Fire Officer in charge of the Nevis Division. In welcoming Mr Samuel to NEMA, Dr Harris noted: “We will hope that the staff would give support to Mr Samuel in the new capacity.”
The Honourable Prime Minister who was accompanied by Cabinet Secretary Mrs Josephine Huggins, and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security Mr Osmond Petty, commended Mrs Claricia Langley-Stevens who has been running the agency following the resignation last year of the former National Disaster Coordinator Mr Carl Herbert.
“I think she has done a very good job in holding the fort in a very good and effective way, and I want to place on record the Government’s appreciation for your service Mrs Langley-Stevens,” said Prime Minister Harris.
Mr Abdias Samuel, who thanked the Prime Minister and the Administration for having confidence in him, also thanked Mrs Langley-Stevens for running the agency during a critical time and added that she was able to accomplish it as the government believes in gender equality.
“I am no stranger here (NEMA), and I just want the Nation to know that we are going to do our best to be one of the most resilient Caribbean nations not only in the OECS, or the CARICOM, but in this hemisphere,” said Mr Samuel. “We will utilise all the necessary networks that we need to, to make us above all. I want you to have confidence in this small but powerful staff to do an exceptional job.”
Mr Samuel who joined the St. Kitts and Nevis Fire and Rescue Services as a Fire-fighter in January 1999 is the Deputy Chief Fire Officer (DCFO) in charge of the Nevis Division. In his illustrious career, he has served in the following stations: Basseterre Fire Station, Tabernacle Fire Station, Sandy Point Fire Station, New Castle (Nevis) Fire Hall, Charlestown Fire Hall, and the Vance Amory Airport Fire Hall.
A holder of a Leadership Development Diploma (2008) and Executive Diploma in Information Management (2009) from the University of the West Indies, Mr Samuel has vast international experience which includes, among others, coordinating and conducting training in several Caribbean islands, most recently in St. Lucia in March on behalf of USAID/Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA).