Trinityville project launched
TRINITYVILLE, St Thomas:
THE TRINITYVILLE Area Integrated Land Management and Disaster Risk Reduction Project was officially launched on Tuesday at a brief ceremony at the Robert Lightbourne High School, St Thomas.
The $70-million project, funded by the Caribbean Development Bank through its Community Disaster Risk Reduction Fund, and written by the Trinityville Area Development Community Benevolent Society (TADCBS), is aimed at strengthening the resilience of the Trinityville area, and enabling the community to better respond to natural hazards. Focusing on land management and farming practices, drainage infrastructure and public education and awareness, the project will see several activities completed in the next two years that will enable Trinityville to respond to increasing environmental hazards and climate change.
Lorian Peart-Roberts, St Thomas parish manager of the Social Development Commission explained that the project was a much-needed initiative in the communities of the TADCBS, which is particularly vulnerable to natural hazards because of its geographical location; hilly terrain and geological characteristics. The communities, which include Bailey's Piece, Danvers Pen, Georgia, Font Hill, Hillside, Jones Pen, Moffat, Mt Vernon, Mt Lebanus, Somerset, Spring Piece and Trinityville Proper, are home to approximately 6,000 residents, who experience a high level of poverty and are dependent on rain-fed agriculture, which is threatened by increasing natural disasters and unwise and unsafe farming practices.
Figures also show that agricultural output from these areas has fallen in the last few years due to the frequency and intensity of hurricanes that have ravaged the area and made cultivation difficult.
The Trinityville Area Land Management and Disaster Risk Reduction Project is intended to enable the Trinityville area to adequately respond to the challenges of climate change and the continued risk posed by natural disaster. Building on several past initiatives, the project will see the planting of 300 forest seedlings and 3000 fruit tree seedlings in deforested areas in Hillside, Somerset, Mt Lebanus and Trinityville; planting of 20,000 pineapple seedlings to form contour barriers and provide and cash crop for farmers; and the training of 150 farmers in 12 communities in land husbandry, drip irrigation, contouring barrier construction, agricultural risk management and marketing techniques. Another component of the project is the rehabilitation of the Danvers Pen community centre to serve as an emergency centre, with gender specific design considerations, up to standard as identified by Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management. Drainage, protective and improvement work will also be carried out in several areas.
Terence Cover, chairman of the TADCBS was thankful that the project was up and running, citing the significant impact the communities in the area had experienced due to natural disasters.