Jamaica to benefit from regional rainwater harvesting project
CASTRIES, St Lucia, CMC- Jamaica alongside St Lucia, Haiti and Grenada have been selected to participate in the installation of rainwater harvesting systems to strengthen our climate resilience through the management of water challenges.
Technical experts in the water and health sectors from the region gathered in St Lucia for a rainwater harvesting, mapping, and manual development and training consultancy led by the Investment Plan of the Caribbean Regional Track of the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience.
The meeting, which was hosted by the Environmental Health and Sustainable Development Department of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), was seen as imperative in light of forecast pointing to extended drought periods.
The two-day forum finalised plans to provide training for more than 80 rainwater harvesting professionals across the region and develop criteria for selection of three vulnerable communities to benefit from the installation of rainwater harvesting systems valued at approximately US$100,000.
According to Lyndon Robertson, the Head of Environmental Health and Sustainable Development at CARPHA, the public health risks associated with rainwater harvesting was a deterrent to the uptake of the practice for years.
The common health risks include poor water quality, water contamination, which often leads to diarrhoea, and improper storage of water, which gives rise to vector-borne diseases such as chikungunya, zika and dengue.
In keeping with the focus of the project, CARPHA will provide technical support for water safety considerations to ensure elimination of health hazards associated with the collection and storage of rainwater.
The programme for climate resilience is a five-year project implemented by the Mona Office for Research and Innovation at the University of the West Indies with grant funding from the Climate Investment Fund through the Inter-American Development Bank.