The official opening ceremony of the “Bagatelle Alternate Water Harvesting and Storage Project” was held yesterday in Commonwealth of Dominica, where ministry officials and partners were in attendance. Under this community project, the UN Development Programme’s (UNDP) Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership (J-CCCP) Project has supported the Department of Local Government and Community Development to rehabilitate and enhance an indigenous water source in order to provide water in times of crisis to more than 380 residents of Bagatelle, Point Carib, Fond St. Jean and Fabre villages. Head of Office for the UNDP Dominica Project Office, Ian King highlighted the UNDP’s partnership with the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica on several projects recalling that “within this J-CCCP project, I’ve now witnessed the handing over of a water truck in 2018, agriculture equipment last week and today, happily, the official opening of this important project.”
On the same day, the first farmer field training exercise was also held in Morne Prospere, where another J-CCCP pilot project, titled “Improving Seasonality and Diversity of the Vegetable Production in Morne Prosper” is being implemented. Mr. Toshihide Kanaya, Second Secretary of the Embassy of Japan in Trinidad and Tobago, observed the training exercise where the officials of the Ministry of Agriculture provided around 40 farmers hands-on training related to climate smart agriculture such as safe use of agrochemicals and soil sampling and analysis. Mr. Kanaya noted that he was “pleased to see the agriculture sector in Dominica thriving again, having heard reports of the impact of Hurricane Maria one year ago.” Other activities being undertaken within this project include the construction of shade houses with accompanying rainwater harvesting and drip irrigation systems, storm and counter drain construction and the establishment of live windbreaks and live grass barriers, with some equipment having already been handed over to the Ministry of Agriculture last week.
Over the course of the day Mr. Kanaya and team also visited the Dominica Community High School where J-CCCP is supporting the school’s effort to become Dominica’s first green school through the adoption of sustainable agriculture practices and renewable energy and energy efficient technology.
The J-CCCP is a regional initiative working in 8 Caribbean countries. The programme of work under the J-CCCP is in line with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The project is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme with funding from the Government of Japan.