Beneficiaries of the hurricane-proof storm shelter being built at St. Francis of Assisi Church next door. (Photo by AF)

Adaptation Fund Project Story: Antigua and Barbuda

Hurricane Irma devastated Barbuda in September 2017, destroying most properties and forcing evacuations of approximately all 2,000 inhabitants of the Caribbean island to neighboring Antigua. Local residents of Antigua and Barbuda, as in many other small island developing states, say they have been experiencing more frequent and intense hurricanes each year. Given that increasing vulnerability to disaster risks, extreme rainfall and sea level rise, the Adaptation Fund has been financing a US$ 10 million climate change adaptation project here since March 2017.

Implemented by the Fund’s national implementing partner, the Department of Environment (DoE), it is designed to help the most vulnerable communities in Antigua’s northwest coastal McKinnon’s watershed become more resilient to flooding, hurricanes, and higher temperatures. Through an innovative and integrated approach, it is restoring natural drainage canals and climate-proofing vulnerable homes and storm shelters to reduce flooding and disaster risks.

The project aims to clean, widen and deepen drainage canals, retention ponds and culverts to natural sizes so they have proper capacity to handle extreme rainfall and storms. These actions will protect many low-income, densely packed homes that predominate McKinnon’s urban neighborhoods. “This solution will prevent flooding in this entire area,” Adien Greenaway, DoE project technical officer said. At the same time, another aspect of the project is providing the opportunity to vulnerable residents to access an innovative low-interest revolving loan program established through
the project to climate-proof their homes.

Read the full story here.

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