BARBADOS — A slew of leading Caribbean celebrities have adopted the new title of “Disaster Fighters” ahead of the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season, which climate scientists forecast will be above normal.
Top West Indian cricketers and music stars are joining arms as the new “Disaster Fighters” with The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), the regional inter-governmental agency for disaster management in the Caribbean Community, (CARICOM).
The creative campaign to fighting disasters this season, kicks off today, one day ahead of the start of the hurricane season, and aims at reiterating the importance of Caribbean nationals to be prepared, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
West Indian cricketers, DJ Bravo, Darren Ganga and Stacey-Ann King of Trinidad and Tobago; Jamaica’s Chris Gayle; St. Lucia’s Darren Sammy, and St. Kitts & Nevis’ Kieran Powell, have joined forces with retired celebrity cricketing great, Sir Gary Sobers of Barbados and former cricketer turned music star Omari Banks of Anguilla, as well as musicians Mr Killa of Grenada, Tafa Mi Soleil of Haiti and Ricky T and QPID of St. Lucia, for the May 31st campaign kick-off.
The new CDEMA ground-breaking initiative, supported by the Africa Caribbean Pacific – European Union Natural Disaster Risk Reduction (ACP-EU NDRR) Program, the Canada Caribbean Resilience Facility, the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (managed by the World Bank), and Binance Charity, aims at increasing community preparedness and resilience to risks, such as hurricanes, volcanoes, COVID-19, and other natural hazards affecting the Caribbean region, through a catchy disaster prevention song and music video that will be promoted on social media.
The month-long campaign that coincides with the beginning of the annual hurricane season and will feature important preparedness messages alongside the campaign song and music video on Tik Tok, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, as well as the campaign’s website, disaster-fighters.org.
In an unprecedented move for the campaign, CDEMA will implement its first-ever Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) marketplace to raise donations and support disaster preparedness and disasters in the region. Participating musicians, cricketers and other celebrities will donate signed balls, t-shirts and various memorabilia including exclusive, limited-edition collectibles, that will be auctioned to the public as part of the initiative’s fundraising efforts. Items will include unique, personalized messages from the “Disaster Fighters” celebrity team.
Fans and the public are encouraged to show their support for the initiative by purchasing collectibles signed by their favorite celebrities to assist CDEMA in the important and meaningful work it does.
“Many Caribbean countries have been battling the compound impacts of drought, COVID-19, volcanic eruptions and now hurricane season,” said Elizabeth Riley, Executive Director (ag), CDEMA.
“We wanted to use an innovative, inclusive approach to ensure that communities are empowered with the necessary plans, information and tools to tackle the disaster impacts that we as a region have been facing.” Tahseen Sayed, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean, added: “The past year has been very challenging for the Caribbean. Although much of the region has managed the health effects of the pandemic through early actions, the socioeconomic impacts have been severe. It is more important than ever this year for Caribbean countries and people to be well-prepared for the hurricane season. We are pleased to support this innovative new campaign from CDEMA that aims to help communities protect themselves and their livelihoods.”