Fri | Sep 25, 2020

Earth Today | Clarendon gets climate resilience boost

Published:Thursday | February 6, 2020 | 12:00 AM
A resident in the Upper Rio Minho Watershed area builds a check dam. The dams are important for preserving agricultural lands in the area, as well as for reducing flooding.
Michelle McNaught, climate change consultant with the Inter-American Development Bank, uses a recently constructed check dam to take quick notes while on a visit to the Upper Rio Minho Watershed Area of Clarendon.
Gerard Alleng of the Inter-American Development Bank (right) chats with a resident of the Upper Rio Minho Watershed in Clarendon about the check dam and its effectiveness in reducing flooding in the area.
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ROUGHLY 490 of 1,800 micro-check dams have been constructed in the Upper Rio Minho Watershed Area (URMW) of Clarendon to reduce flooding and build climate resilience in the area.

The micro check dams – used to reduce water flow and by extension reduce erosion – fall under initiatives being done by the Adaptation Programme and Financing Mechanism (AP&FM) of the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR).

More than 15 communities in the URMW have been identified as vulnerable to climate change impacts, such as flooding and hazards, including soil erosion and land slippage.

The AP&FM recently completed climate change and disaster risk reduction plans for the communities of Morgan’s Forest, Rock River, Kellits, Summerfield, Thompson Town, James Hill, Crooked River, Chapelton, Coxswain, Trout Hall, Pennants, Moores, Ritchies, Brandon Hill and Cumberland.

“The URMW is very important to Jamaica’s rainwater harvesting and we want to ensure that it is restored. That will ensure our water security,” said Winsome Townsend, project manager of the AP&FM.

The check dam initiative is part of several other activities aimed at restoring the watershed. These include:

- the installation of 250 communal rainwater harvesting systems and rehabilitation of three rain ponds;

- the installation of 5 aquaponics systems in 5 communities;

- the reforestation of 15 hectares of land; and

- 50 hectares of Agro-Forestry.

The AP&FM is a part of Jamaica’s Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience. It works to help Jamaica adjust more easily to climate change. It supports the integration of climate change issues into development planning by government agencies.

It also provides funds for climate change adaptation work in small and medium businesses, as well as communities islandwide. It is being implemented by the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation and is funded to the tune of US$19,869,963 by the Climate Investment Fund through the Inter-American Development Bank and the Government of Jamaica.