Drought in the Caribbean

Photo credit: IPS

Climatologist Cèdric Van Meerbeeck of the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), says drier than normal conditions in the Caribbean will continue through the 2015 wet season and into 2016. Credit: Kenton X. Chance/IPS

Prolonged Drought Leaves Caribbean Farmers Broke and Worried

“More than 50 per cent of our agriculture is rain-fed. … So it is going to affect agriculture, particularly small farmers, who are the ones who cannot afford irrigation at this time.” — Leslie Simpson
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“When we hear of the threat of drought that’s going to be lengthened this year and going into next year, this to me, is frightening,” Herman tells IPS.

“Frightening in the sense that I don’t think that we, as a government, we as a people have created the resilience that is necessary to combat drought. The water infrastructure that is necessary is not available, or where it is available, it is in patches,” he says.

Advancing Deserts, Aid, Caribbean Climate Wire, Climate Change, Development & Aid, Economy & Trade, Environment, Food & Agriculture, Headlines, Latin America & the Caribbean, Natural Resources, Poverty & SDGs, TerraViva United Nations, Water & Sanitation Prolonged Drought Leaves Caribbean Farmers Broke and Worried By Kenton X. Chance Reprint |      |  Print | Send by email Cattle seek refuge from the searing heat among shrubbery in Union Island, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Credit: Kenton X. Chance/IPS Cattle seek refuge from the searing heat among shrubbery in Union Island, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Credit: Kenton X. Chance/IPS - Photo credit: http://cdn.ipsnews.net/Library/2015/06/cattle-629x420.jpg
Cattle seek refuge from the searing heat among shrubbery in Union Island, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Credit: Kenton X. Chance/IPS – Photo credit: http://cdn.ipsnews.net/Library/2015/06/cattle-629×420.jpg

At the two-day forum, organised by the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), climatologist Cèdric Van Meerbeeck puts the forecast into perspective by referencing 2009, a year when extreme dry conditions triggered widespread water rationing across the region.

Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia and Guyana recorded their lowest six-month rainfall totals (October 2009 to March 2010).

“It doesn’t mean it is going to be the same like 2009 and 2010, but if it is going to be a year, it is going to be this year,” Van Meerbeeck said of the forecast dry spell.

“Temperatures are going to feel hotter than usual and that is pretty much throughout the Caribbean,” Van Meerbeeck told the gathering of meteorologists, natural disaster managers and other stakeholders from 25 Caribbean countries and territories.

Read the full article: IPS

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Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.