The Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management is partnering with the United Nations Development Programme to undertake a Weston Community Climate Change Project at Weston, St. James.
The US$100,000 project will be undertaken at the Millie Ifill Fish Market, where a number of climate change adaptation measures will be put in place to increase the resilience of the community and guard against impacts in vulnerable areas.
Minister of Agriculture, Dr. David Estwick, headed a team which included Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Esworth Reid; National Coordinator of the United Nations Development Programme GEF Small Grants Programme, David Bynoe; President of the Weston Fisherfolk Association and Coordinator of the project, Chelston Thomas; and other Ministry officials, on a tour of the market recently.
During the tour, Dr. Estwick gave the assurance that his Ministry would do all in its power to assist with the development of the programme. However, he emphasised the need for engineers from the Coastal Zone Management Unit and the Barbados Water Authority to be involved in the project.
???I need you to start putting a team together so the Ministry can start doing site evaluations of what is needed,??? he told stakeholders, noting a Memorandum of Understanding would also have to be drawn up.
Mr. Bynoe explained that the aim of the project was to increase the resilience of communities by identifying vulnerable and key areas for intervention.??As a result of studies carried out prior he said there was a proposal for the construction of a septic holding tank for liquid waste and a biogas digester at the market to manage the flow of waste and convert it to energy.
In addition, he noted plans to install FADS (fish aggregated devices) would make room for a fish nursery where young fish could thrive in one area. ???In the long run, it could become a safe haven for the fish and a spot where visitors could dive,??? the National Coordinator pointed out.
In addition, the project would also see the strengthening of the Weston Fisherfolk organisation and the Millie Ifill Fish Market through the training of members to increase their knowledge and awareness of climate change and adaptation, and improving the physical plant with the development of office space.
Meanwhile, Mr. Thomas said one of the biggest benefits of the project to Government was through savings obtained by a reduction in the money spent for the removal of waste water.