Volcano Ready Communities Project
The Volcano Ready Communities Project in St. Vincent and The Grenadines (VR Project) was launched in June 2018 and is currently being implemented by The UWI Seismic Research Centre through grant funding from the Caribbean Development Bank. The VR Project seeks to reduce vulnerability to the multi-hazard environment of La Soufrière Volcano through a combination of activities designed to enhance community early warning procedures, increase adaptive capacities, strengthen awareness, and enhance response capacities.
The Project comprises three components which seek to increase the resilience of 12 communities in northern St. Vincent and the Grenadines to volcanic hazards and the multi hazard environment created by the volcano. The communities have been separated into two groups and they are (a) Windward communities comprising Fancy, Owia, Sandy Bay, Overland and Big Level, South Rivers, Park Hill, Colonaire, and (b) Leeward communities comprising Fitz Hughes, Chateaubelair, Rose Hall, and Spring Village.
The Project activities under each component are summarised as follows:
Component 1: Increased Community Volcano and Other Natural Hazard Readiness
Development of protocols to guide the establishment of an alerting system for natural hazards in the 12 target communities. This will be done in collaboration with NEMO and the District Disaster Committees. The approach to be used will increase community involvement in the collection and analysis of community data and this will help to improve their understanding of natural hazard impacts and the vulnerability of the communities. Under this component, protocols and plans to alert men, women, children, the elderly and vulnerable populations, about the impacts of the volcano and other related natural hazards and how to respond appropriately will be developed and shared with the target communities.
Component 2: Increased Knowledge and Awareness
Under this component a number of gender-sensitive multi-hazard, public awareness and education materials will be developed and programmes implemented. The materials will be shared with schools, businesses, community groups and residents of the target communities. Information on best practices will be captured, published, and shared with stakeholders.
Component 3: Enhanced Adaptive Capacity
This element of the Project will facilitate the preparation of volcano level contingency plans for the 12 communities in the high-risk zones of the Soufrière Volcano. The stakeholders (government, civil society, and the private sector) will be engaged to assist the at-risk communities with the development and identification of resources required for the continued implementation of the volcano plans.
The VR Project is guided by a Project Steering Committee including local project partners; The National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO), The St Vincent & The Grenadines Red Cross Society, The Community Development Division and the Agency for Public Information as well as the Beneficiary Communities Action Group which includes representatives from each of the 12 project target communities. The project is being administered through the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Community Disaster Risk Reduction Fund (CDRRF). The CDRRF was established by the CDB with grant financing from the Government of Canada and the European Union. The Fund finances community-based disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation initiatives at the local level across eligible borrowing member countries of CDB. To learn more, click here.
Volcano Ready Resources (posters etc)
Beyond the Ashes Exhibit – A photographic exhibition exploring past eruptive activity at the La Soufrière, St. Vincent volcano