Former Mayor of Portmore
Keith Hinds is the Mayor of Portmore, Jamaica – the largest residential community in the Caribbean. As a coastal city of more than 400,000, Portmore’s vulnerabilities abound. The city sits at sea level, along the Caribbean Sea in a hurricane-prone part of the world, and is also in an earthquake zone. It has the largest network of stormwater drains in the entire island, which, if not maintained or kept clear of debris, would put the city at risk of flooding. Mr. Hinds says that, where wealthier cities are ready to spend billions, a few million – if well spent – could be just as effective in keeping people safe. If feasible, the mayor would like to buy three or four excavators for the city that can be used to clear stormwater drains, at minimal cost. But, as Mr. Hinds points out, international donor organizations often give funds to national governments, despite the fact that local governments are at the frontline of disasters. He is passionate about lobbying for more resources at the local level to get citizens’ lives back on track after disasters.
- 3rd Session of the Global Platform for DRR (Switzerland, May 2011).
- Promote the campaign during the 1st Mayors Summit on Disaster Risk Reduction and the World Cities Scientific Development Forum & (August 2011, China).
- Support the Making Caribbean Cities Resilient Workshop during the 6th Comprehensive Disaster Management conference (December 2011, Trinidad&Tobago).