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Local Beneficiaries of Climate Change resilience capacity building efforts speak on benefits thus far

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by Kevon Browne

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Building Climate resilience has been at the forefront of advocacy efforts in Small Island Developing States (SIDS), especially in the Caribbean.

During a media sensitisation workshop and tour, changing the perspective of climate reporting was the focus, changing from fearmongering in reporting to actions that can be done to be more resilient.

How has the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis been building resilience against Climate Change?

As part of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre’s (CCCCC) efforts to bolster the resilience of the health and education sectors, donated water tanks to 51 sites across the region. Nine sites in St. Kitts and Nevis benefited from the project.

The tanks, which could be seen as a method of conservation but in the context of Climate Change, are used to combat the growing lack of potable water as a result of changes to “normal” climate patterns expected throughout the year – the dry season becoming dryer and the rainy season having less but more intense bouts of rain leading to flash flooding and landslides etc.

Local media has the changes to interact with some of the beneficiaries of the water tank project during the media tour on March 2.

The first sited visited was the Tucker Clarke Primary School, where we spoke with the Principal, Devon Harris, about how the water tanks have added climate resilience to the school’s curriculum.

Schools were not the only beneficiary of the project; health centres were included in the initiative; the Molineux health centre was the beneficiary visited, and WINN spoke with Sylvester Belle, Health Planner in the Ministry of Health.

At another primary school, the vice principal spoke of how the tanks not only help when water service is disrupted by maintenance work but also how the placement of the tanks has helped to stop water from settling in the school’s yard, which could cause other health concerns for the children.

The last site visit was a special one where it serves three purposes, Daycare Center, Community Center and Disaster Shelter. The tanks build resilience from three different perspectives, especially regarding its operation as a shelter where the tank would provide potable water when regular water service is disturbed, which is expected during and after a hurricane.

Steve Maximay, Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) Journalist Trainer and Managing Director at Science-Based Initiatives, provided some background on the technical aspects of the project.

The media sensitisation and tour was put on by the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Cooperatives as part of the European Union – Global Climate Challenge Alliance Plus Initiative (EU-GCCA+) “Time is Running Out Climate Literacy Campaign”.

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