Antigua and Barbuda has been plagued with drought for most parts of 2022 and during this trying time the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs through several of its divisions/agencies, additionally with the assistance of other ministries and collaboration of other stakeholders and partners have been working to eliminate the negative impact of this fervent climatic conditions while seeking to mitigate any backlash for upcoming seasons.
Annually, the wet season normally starts in mid-June and end mid-November.
However, September is recorded to be the wettest month with an average of 9.3 inches or 236 millimeters.
The date for the passage of TS Fiona over the twin state was 17th – 19th September and during this period Antigua and Barbuda received 24.35 inches or 618.39 millimeters according to the local metrological centre.
This data is a compilation of rain gauge information collected from nine (9) stations.
For the past six months the focus was placed on ponds. Around the island ponds were restores, repaired and new ones dug.
The intentions of this project were to (1) ensure that more water catchments were available in time for the much anticipated and needed rain (2) To provide harvested water for irrigation and other specific needs of the farmers (3) to provide roaming animals with water so that they could keep hydrated (4) to alleviate the strain on the general provider APUA.
One of these ponds is The Weaver Pond which is located in St. Paul’s between the Villages of Liberta and Bethesda.
During TB Fiona’s passage that area received 4.9 inches or 123.45 bringing the pond from a few gallons of water to three quarter full while the Seventh Day Adventist School Pond that had also a few gallons now are full to capacity from the 3.8 inches, or 96.1 millimeters collected in St. John’s.
Normally, most negative situations are associated with tropical storms/hurricanes but thankfully it must not go unnoticed or unmentioned that the passing of Tropical Strom Fiona brought and deposited several inches of rain, yes sufficient water to fill most of the ponds around the twin island state.
Therefore, it is only fair to admit that “Every dark Cloud has a silver lining” and though some seemed disappointed we still should be grateful for spared lives and hardly any damages, for every disappointment is indeed a blessing.
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