NEMA head urges residents to prepare for potential fallout as global supply chain bottleneck grows

Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 14, 2021 (SKNIS): The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in St. Kitts and Nevis is raising the caution flag about a potential crisis that may develop as a result of the global supply chain bottleneck.

The bottleneck is precipitated by an increase in demand for consumer products as online shopping has significantly increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, some manufacturers are unable to meet the rise in demand due to staff shortages and reduced operating hours as the country or area where they are based is under restrictions to curtail the spread of the virus. Labour shortages are also impacting ports where the goods land, slowing down the offloading and inspection process thereby creating a bottleneck. The high demand and low supply will ultimately drive up the cost of goods.

Given the challenging situation, which experts predict will grow worse before it gets better, NEMA’s National Disaster Coordinator, Abdias Samuel, is urging residents to prepare for the fallout.

“I want to advise you to ensure that you manage the resources and supplies that you have at present until the global community finds a solution to this challenge of the supply chain bottleneck,” he stated at the October 13, 2021, National Emergency Operations Centre COVID-19 Briefing.

Mr. Samuel noted that the extent of the problem has already prompted some foreign governments to intervene to bring some relief to the situation.

“We have seen in the United Kingdom where the government has had to use state resources such as the military to help with the transportation of supplies for the day-to-day consumption of their citizens. And we also see that in the United States, Los Angeles Port, one of the busiest ports, has adopted a 24-hour work schedule to help with the bottleneck,” he indicated.

As of October 13, the bottleneck had not impacted the twin-island Federation. However, residents were strongly encouraged to conserve goods and carefully monitor the unfolding situation.

“Please understand that in no way, shape or form is this {announcement) about creating hysteria or panic. This is about us taking the necessary preventative measures to be resilient against these global challenges,” Mr. Samuel stated.

Featured Image – Mr. Abdias Samuel

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