Jeffrey Town Residents Unite, Participate in Major Move to Deal with Water Problems

31 Mar 2017


Caribbean Development Bank project launched

The residents of the Jeffrey Town community in St Mary have demonstrated how their active participation in governance can bolster change in their community. Following three months of consultation with residents and stakeholders, the Jeffrey Town Disaster Risk Management Plan (DRMP) was developed. That plan necessitated a project that would address residents’ limited access to potable water and increase awareness/activities in climate change resilience. The project developed was the Jeffrey Town Integrated Disaster Risk Reduction Project, implemented across the four districts within the Jeffrey Town community; Barker, Carter Mountain, Decoy and Jeffrey Town/Spring Lane districts. Each was managed by a committee comprised of District representatives for sustainability and effective monitoring and evaluation.

Three components comprise the project; the first component focuses on Climate Resilient Infrastructure to improve soil stability, drainage and climate change resilience.

In keeping with the impact of weather variability and climate change, the focus of the second component will be on supporting farmers in Jeffrey Town to change their cropping system to provide more drought tolerant crops. Rehabilitation/upgrade of agro-processing facilities at the Jeffrey Town Farmers Association Office building has also been earmarked.

The third component focuses on building the technical capacities of farmers and residents in Disaster Risk Reduction to improve resilience of agricultural undertakings to climate change and climate variability. Public awareness interventions such as school outreach and mainstream media activities will also be conducted.

Project Sustainability

A one day workshop was organized by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at the Jamaica Seventh Day Baptist Conference Centre and Camp Site in Maiden Hall, St. Mary. Among the over 50 persons in attendance were stakeholders from the Ministry of Health, National Water Commission, Rural Agricultural Development Authority, Social Development Commission and the Water Resource Authority. Team members from the CDB facilitated the opening ceremony of the workshop which featured the project overview and remarks from the management committee representatives.

The Jeffrey Town working group

The North Coast Times caught up with Asad Magana, monitoring and evaluation specialist, Community Disaster Risk Reduction Fund – CDB. He highlighted that the project’s sustainability was highly dependent on effective monitoring and evaluation throughout the entire project from start to end. He mentioned that “one of the first steps was to put the management teams together and build their capacities for them to manage and implement the project.”

Claudia James, project manager, Community Disaster Risk Reduction Fund – CDB provided an overview of the project. She mentioned that the Jeffrey Town Integrated Disaster Risk Reduction Project is one of two projects undertaken by the Disaster Risk Reduction Fund in Jamaica.

Commenting on the community engagement aspects of the project, Richardo Aiken, Community Development Specialist, Community Disaster Risk Reduction Fund – CDB mentioned that “the project was CDB’s way of raising the bar in community development by becoming more intimately involved with and responsive to the needs of the community.” The land on which the water tanks and solar pumps will be housed were donated by residents within the participating districts. Roger Marsh from the Barker district told the North Coast times he decided to donate the area on his land because they “need the water, it’s something that we have always wanted [as] for years we have to travel miles for drinking water.”

Hilda Townsend from the Carter Mountain District shared similar sentiments.

Over the next few months further training of the management committees, construction of the water catchments and installation of the solar systems will take place. The management committees along with the Jeffrey Town Farmers Association and other stakeholders will also continue to monitor the project. Thanks to the Community Disaster Risk Reduction Fund within the Caribbean Development Bank, there has been an increase in the awareness of the importance of climate change resilience activities for disaster preparedness. It is hoped that the successful implementation of the project will serve as best practices for the implementation of similar projects.

This story originally appeared in the March 8-14, 2017 edition of the North Coast Times.

The post Jeffrey Town Residents Unite, Participate in Major Move to Deal with Water Problems appeared first on Caribbean Development Bank.

Read full article at Caribank