Communities to benefit from flood intervention activities

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Several activities are expected to be undertaken in Antigua and Barbuda communities aimed at enhancing how residents prepare for and manage flood events with support from the World Meteorological Organisation’s Climate Risk Early Warning System Project.

This is part of the Caribbean Initiative which started in 2018 that funds early warning systems in small states.

Proposed activities may include the pilot installation of flood marking signs in two communities, first aid training, gender mainstreaming workshop, awareness sessions on flood and drought management, media training, updating and mapping the list of vulnerable persons and installing weather stations.

The districts – St Mary’s North, St. Mary’s South, St. John’s Rural West, St John’s City East and St John’s Rural North, were selected based on the amount of work that has been ongoing like the improvement of bridges, roads and culverts to help reduce flooding.

On Tuesday, a team from the WMO, assisted by the National Office of Disaster Services (NODS) and the Met Office, brought together representatives from the communities, the Department of Environment, the Fire Department and the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) in a workshop at the Antigua and Barbuda Hospitality Training Institute to look at the way forward.

A component of the project is to tailor the various activities to meet the needs of all genders, and as such the Department of Gender Affairs was also part of the discussions.

Among the next steps are an assessment of the flood impacts, needs and capabilities of the selected communities and local agencies, a regional training workshop on gender mainstreaming, developing a flood management manual for the Caribbean and documenting useful practices.

District Disaster Coordinators from the flood-prone areas mentioned took the WMO team on a tour of those districts on Wednesday as they wrapped up their two-day visit to Antigua.

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