Urgently Relocate the Land Registry to higher ground
With all of the expert predictions of tsunamis in the region, the frequent earthquakes, the eruption of Kick ‘em Jenny, the recent twelve inch downpour on Dominica by Erika; we can’t afford to be moving so slowly with our climate change mitigation plans. The Land Registry is the repository of vital records that, if destroyed, can place this country into untold chaos and confusion. I need not enunciate the exact state in which we would find ourselves if this registry is destroyed. This would also be true of the Civil Status and Deeds and Mortgages registries. The buildings that house those important documents are lying mere feet from the shoreline and would be utterly disseminated by serious storm surges or tsunamis.
If we are serious about our future, then commonsense will direct us to urgently move those repositories to higher grounds. We are blessed with hills all over to make this possible. The cost of moving will pale in comparison to the cost of having lost those vital records.
In the long term we can look to burrowing bunkers for them into those mountains all around for added safety from hurricane winds, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes to a certain extent. We can’t afford to wait much longer to effect those changes. A copy of this article will be made available to the Minister with responsibility for National Security to ensure that he is notified.
But it is not only those government offices that need to take this seriously. There are other institutions such as banks, insurance companies, law offices and other vital private sector entities that need to mitigate those real, and I dare say, imminent threats. There are only two financial institutions in the Castries basin with remotely stored digitized customer records. The cost of digitizing and cloud storage has dropped significantly. In fact, the Chamber of Commerce can fund the creation of an inexpensive bunker at some high elevation where members can house remote file servers if they don’t wish to use Cloud Space. The government should also join that project and move its computing nerve centre to higher ground. From what I am told, a ten foot storm surge on the Castries waterfront could destroy the government’s main computer infrastructure!
I am aware of climate change resilience consultations underway with quite a bit of money assigned to the project. It’s my view that the relocation of the registries falls under the objective of that project as it will make Saint Lucia more prepared for the possible negative effects of climate change. The Erika experience in Dominica is testament to the reality of climate change. It’s been reported on social media that new water paths have been created in Dominica and hot water springs discovered at the Trafalgar Falls, all indicating that the terrain was unaccustomed to that level of rainfall. Let’s act now!