Information from Baseline Assessment Project will help in times of natural disaster
Information collected from 11 communities in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) will help their residents to be better prepared and more resilient in cases of natural disaster.
The information was collected during a workshop held from September 30 to October 4 and will form a Livelihood Baseline Assessment which gives an idea of the assets in communities and what needs to be restored, in cases of natural disasters.
And this workshop was carried out under the Community Disaster Risk Reduction Fund of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) in collaboration with local partners.
“So in Chateaubelair for example, how many farmers are there, what’s the value of their assets and so if there is need for disaster recovery, what’s the value of that to bring them back to normal in a timely manner,” Richardo Aiken, the community development specialist with the fund told SEARCHLIGHT last week.
He added; “That’s more on the response side but on the preparatory side, you can also get information on their vulnerabilities as to where you farm for example, your fishing practices and how can you change or adapt to some of those issues using more resilient practices,drought resilient crops, how do you fish to ensure you’re doing it in a more sustainable way…”.
Chateaubelair, Fitz Hughes, Spring Hill, Rose Hall, Owia, Georgetown, Park Hill, Colonarie and Fancy are among the 11 communities involved in collecting data for the livelihood baseline assessment.
Now that information has been gathered, Aiken said that the next step includes ensuring that the documents can be used to create strategies that will improve the resilience of the communities.
Nerissa Gittens-McMillan, the permanent secretary in the ministry of national mobilisation said that the project will benefit the work being done in the ministry significantly.
“it gives us the opportunity to see where the communities are at present, what resources are available, where are the gaps and how we can use the information collected especially if there is a natural disaster. How can we build thereafter?,” she explained.
In a case where there are no disasters, the permanent secretary said that the information collected can be utilised to come up with projects and proposals ready for grant funding for projects at the community level, which can in the long term lead to national development in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Gittens-McMillan added that one of the ministry’s indicators for this year is to complete five community profiles by the end of October.
“…With this activity, we have managed to complete 11 so that we have gone way past that which we anticipated,” she said. “Though we may have surpassed expectations and done more than we anticipated, we still need to do these profiles for the rest of the nation and so the work has to continue because it is significant and needed.”
Work under the fund continues in three other CDB borrowing member countries; Belize, British Virgin Islands and Jamaica.