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Volcano-Ready Communities Project to Launch in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

St. Augustine, Trinidad & Tobago W.I. – Tuesday 3rd April, 2018 – Stakeholders and members of the public are expected to convene at Sandy Bay Government Primary School on April 6th at 4:00 PM for the official launch of the Volcano-Ready Communities in St. Vincent and the Grenadines Project, which aims to increase awareness of volcanic and multi hazard risk at the community level in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

This project is a collaborative initiative of the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) and The University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre (UWI-SRC). The primary objectives of the project are to increase knowledge and awareness of volcano and multi-hazards risk and to enhance adaptive capacity in communities of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The project specifically seeks to reduce vulnerability to the multi-hazard environment of the Soufriere Volcano through a combination of activities designed to enhance response capacities.  It also seeks to increase resilience of 12 communities in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, in the high risk zones of the volcano, to volcanic and other natural hazard events and climate change.

The target communities for this two-year project have been separated into two groups and they are (a) Windward communities comprising Fancy, Owia, Sandy Bay, Overland, Big Level, South Rivers, Park Hill, Colonarie, and (b) Leeward communities comprising Fitz Hughes, Chateaubelair, Rose Hall, and Spring Village.

This project is funded under the Community Disaster Risk Reduction Fund (CDRRF), which is administered by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

Professor Richard Robertson, Director of The UWI-SRC says, “Community engagement is at the core of the project, which will seek to improve and expand the capacity of the communities to be more resilient beyond the life of the project.”

A project management team has been established and is based at NEMO, and together with CDB will be engaging with stakeholders throughout the week.

Chateaubelair (forefront) and La Soufriere (background). Chateaubelair is one of the 12 target communities of the Volcano-Ready Communities in St. Vincent and the Grenadines Project.