St. Vincent and the Grenadines to host photographic exhibition – under the “Volcano Ready Project”

St. Vincent and the Grenadines – November 12, 2019 –A photographic exhibition exploring past eruptive activity at the La Soufriere volcano will be held in St.Vincent week. The event is coinciding with the fortieth anniversary celebrations of St Vincent and the Grenadine’ independence, which is also the same year-1979, when the La Soufriere volcano was last active.

“Beyond the Ashes” as the activity has been dubbed, will explore past eruptive activity of La Soufriere volcano through photographic records. The exhibition will touch on a variety of themes from the scientific to the human, as well as the social impact on Vincentian people and economy. It aims to share the experience of those past crises with the visual aid of photographs captured during those eruption episodes that have helped to develop an understanding of the character of the volcano and the consequences of its activity.

The photographs on display have been curated from the documented expedition of Tempest Anderson and his team following the 1902 eruption, courtesy of the York Museum Archive. The Archive of the University of the West Indies (UWI) Seismic Research Center (SRC) furthers the eruptive journey through experiences recorded and documented by the scientific team during the 1971 and 1979 eruptions. Photographs are also shared from the archives of Vincentian natural and volcano enthusiast the late Dr Earl Kirby. Snippets from the personal archives of Martin and Mary Barnard who experienced the last two eruptions from their Orange Hill Estate will also be exhibited. The exhibition will be held at the National Trust Building (the old Public Library) in Kingstown. It runs from November 12-22.

The “Volcano-Ready Communities in St. Vincent and the Grenadines” project targets 12 communities in the high-risk zones of La Soufrière. It specifically seeks to improve response capacities through training and risk assessment; develop a “Volcano-Ready” framework and toolkit for communities; and create public education and awareness materials to be shared with schools, businesses, and residents. Following successful completion of the project, St. Vincent and the Grenadines will be the first country in the Region to hold a “Volcano-Ready” designation.

The 12 communities targeted during the two-year project have been divided into two groups. On the Windward side: Big Level, Colonarie, Fancy, Overland, Owia, Park Hill, Sandy Bay and South Rivers; and on the Leeward side: Chateaubelair, Fitz Hughes, Rose Hall and Spring Village. The official Project Launch was held on April 6, 2018 at the Sandy Bay Government School, and attended by beneficiaries of approximately six of the targeted communities.

The project is being administered through CDB’s Community Disaster Risk Reduction Fund (CDRRF) and is supported by the Government of Canada and the European Union.


About the Community Disaster Risk Reduction Fund

The Community Disaster Risk Reduction Trust Fund was established by the Caribbean Development Bank (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, visit: