UNDP launches pilot irrigation projects in Clarendon
For years, the parish of St Ann has been crying for a proper irrigation system, as several farmers have been losing their crops because of drought-related issues.
Now, help is on the way, which is much appreciated by farmers of the Cascade community in St Ann - one of the three beneficiaries of the Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership (JCCCP), powered by United Nations Development the Programme.
The Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership, with a regional pool of US$15 million, was launched last year in Jamaica and Barbados.
At a function held at the 4-H Centre in Denbigh, Clarendon, Jamaica's three beneficiaries were announced - Clarendon, St Ann and the 4H School Gardens Programme.
The pilot projects mark a new and important milestone in regional implementation and are expected to enhance local capacity to adapt to and lessen the impacts of climate change, especially in the targeted communities.
In his keynote address, Daryl Vaz, minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation with responsibility for Climate Change, stressed Jamaica's vulnerability to climate change.
"The risk is becoming more familiar every day. We no longer have to read about it, we are living it. With climate change, we can expect to see more of this as a typical weather activity in the future. With super storms, devastating flooding, and other impacts occurring more frequently, not only elsewhere, but here in Jamaica," said Vaz, pointing out the importance of projects like the JCCCP to the nation.
... Projects aim to test
The Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership (JCCCP), irrigation system pilot projects, powered by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), are aimed at testing climate-smart technologies and techniques. It will target communities in upper Clarendon impacted by drought and poor water supply, select schools, as well as rural farming communities in St Ann.
Clarendon will enjoy a funding grant of over US$149,000, to refurbish communal water harvesting and storage infrastructure, for which the objective will be to increase the quality and quantity of the public water-harvesting catchment facilities to improve water supply and reduce the impacts of climate change, especially drought.
Through the 4-H clubs, and at a grant of US$210,000 the JCCCP will be establishing and sustainable, climate-smart model gardens in select schools across Jamaica, which will serve as training grounds for students, farmers and community groups. The aim of this project is to enhance food security and engage youth in the agricultural sector.
Select farming communities in St Ann will benefit from the introduction of solar-powered irrigation systems, as well as training in sustainable practices, water management, and irrigation efficiency, with JCCCP pumping in US$25,000.
Climate-change continues to be a major concern to small-island developing states like Jamaica. Climate change causes rising temperatures, changes in the seasons, including growing seasons for crops; heavier rainfall, and stronger, more intense storms, with flooding; more severe droughts and heat waves; and rising sea levels impacting coastal communities and infrastructure.