Project to strengthen water resource management gets underway in Grenada

The content originally appeared on: The Barnacle News

ST. GEORGE’S, GRENADA – The Strengthening Resilient Water Resource Management in the Eastern Caribbean – or Water for Resilience (W4R) – project is moving ahead in Grenada.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in collaboration with the Government of Canada, hosted an inception workshop today for key stakeholders, government officials, experts, and community leaders to collaboratively shape the W4R project’s implementation strategy and 2024 work plan.

Funded by the Government of Canada with a contribution of CAD$4.85 million, the project aims to enhance water resilience in Grenada, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines for communities that are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, including droughts, floods, and hurricanes. It will provide access to clean water and promote water management practices in the Caribbean to support livelihoods, with a focus on women-headed households and women farmers.

Addressing the opening of the workshop was Mervyn Haynes, Grenada’s Director of the Department of Economic, Sustainable Development and Planning in the Ministry of Economic Development, Planning, Tourism, ICT, Creative Economy and Agriculture and Lands, Fisheries & Cooperatives.

“Today’s workshop is an important activity for further tailoring the Water for Resilience project to the Grenada context. We want to ensure that all stakeholders have a high level of buy-in and a clear understanding of their respective roles in contributing to the project’s objectives,” Mr. Haynes said, adding, “In this way, we can work more efficiently; avoiding duplication of efforts and increasing our ownership and commitment to strengthening water resource management in Grenada.”

UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Stephanie Ziebell, underscored how the project would integrate local, national, and regional needs, noting, “This project is another statement of our commitment to working with our partners and governments to promote inclusive and sustainable development throughout the region. It has been designed so that community-driven interventions can help inform and drive national and sectoral policies. In addition, its regional scope will support us in capturing best practices that can strengthen what is done in each country and that can be replicated throughout the Eastern Caribbean.”

“Canada is delighted that this inception workshop in Grenada is underway. Climate change knows no borders. However, small island states like Grenada are particularly vulnerable given their size, location, and reliance on economic activities such as tourism and agriculture, which are inherently sensitive to climatic shifts. The W4R project reflects Canada’s continued commitment to address the impacts of climate change by supporting gender-responsive improvements in water resilience in the Eastern Caribbean. We look forward to the meaningful improvements that the project will bring to the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable communities in Grenada,” shared High Commissioner of Canada to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, H.E. Lilian Chatterjee. The Water for Resilience project is part of UNDP Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean’s commitment to building resilient communities that can withstand shocks and crises while reducing gender vulnerabilities. As climate change effects become more prevalent in the region, it is vital that developmental efforts continue to reinforce the need for regional resilience and bolstering livelihoods for traditionally vulnerable groups.

UNDP Deputy Resident Representative for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Stephanie Ziebell, highlighted that the project would integrate community, national, and regional needs.Grenada’s Director of the Department of Economic, Sustainable Development and Planning, Mervyn Haynes, underscored the importance of the workshop in tailoring the project to the Grenada context.High Commissioner of Canada to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, H.E. Lilian Chatterjee, sharing a message with participants at the start of the Inception Workshop for the Strengthening Resilient Water Resource Management in the Eastern Caribbean project.