Young people from the G-CREWS Water Ambassadors Program (GWAP) engage in knowledge sharing on rainwater harvesting

The content originally appeared on: The Barnacle News
The GAWP Team

St. George’s, Grenada: 6 young people are building and sharing their knowledge on rainwater harvesting with residents of several communities across the State of Grenada. After completing a 3-month comprehensive training program, the young men and women of the Climate-Resilient Water Sector in Grenada (G-CREWS) Water Ambassadors Program (GWAP) are engaging in rainwater harvesting awareness, design and construction in selected communities.

The formation of the GWAP stems from a collaboration agreement between the G-CREWS project and Caritas Grenada for Youth Emergency Action Committee (YEAC) in 2023.

The main objective of the GWAP, is to provide youth with knowledge and skills to promote water conservation practices inclusive of how one can reduce their high consumption and increase water availability in their communities. With these new skills, the youth group proposes and implements projects in communities to reduce water consumption and increase water availability. Through the program, the Water Ambassadors can understand and explain to community members the impacts of climate change on their water supply and share their knowledge of technology and innovative solutions which can help them use water more sustainably.

As part of this program, they have learnt about rainwater harvesting and its application throughout the region, including on the sister island of Carriacou, which they visited in December 2023. With technical support from Consultant Trevor Thompson and G-CREWS Climate and Outreach Advisor Ms. Leyana Romain, the team collected the lessons learnt from the island’s long-time practice of rainwater harvesting. Though pipe water exists, rainwater harvesting has been the main source of water for the citizens on the sister isles of Carriacou and Petite Martinique for several decades.

Ronald Forbes, one of the GWAP members commented “I have found that rainwater harvesting is an essential commodity that should be valued by everyone in society, as we rely heavily on it during disasters. We should move away from looking at rainwater harvesting or catching the rain as we normally say, as something done by certain groups of people within our society”.

Some of the institutions visited were the Princess Royal Hospital, the Indigo “Ningo’ 18th century water well located in Top Hill, Dover Government School, Harvey Vale Government School, households around the community of Harvey Vale and the NAWASA Reverse Osmosis System.

During the exchanges, the young people got an appreciation of the innovative set-ups, the usage of rainwater and how the quality of the water is maintained throughout the year. According, to GWAP member Cavona Baptiste, “From the Carriacou experience, while I will encourage persons to engage in rainwater harvesting, I will like them to consider the size of their storage capacity. It

is important that the storage capacity is adequate to match the number of persons living in the household.”

The water ambassadors are engaging and empowering residents in the communities of Crochu in St. Andrew, Mt. Craven in St. Patrick and Jean Anglais in St. George, on the G-CREWS project and rainwater harvesting.

Leyana Romain, G-CREWS Climate and Outreach Advisor in charge of youth and community engagement, is very satisfied with the Water Ambassadors’ high level of active participation, willingness to lead and work with others; and share ideas. She reported that the youth are intrinsically motivated and take full advantage of the opportunities given under the G-CREWS project. Under her guidance, she ensures that the youth have total access to resources that aid in their development and the initiatives proposed are implemented by them.

Through the GWAP program, the G-CREWS project achieves both youth engagement and community outreach in a meaningful way as the project continues to enhance public, private sector and decision makers’ understanding of the challenges faced by the water sector due to climate change, through targeted awareness and education activities.

The G-CREWS project is jointly financed by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) under its International Climate Initiative (IKI), and the Government of Grenada.

Over 6 years, the Government of Grenada, the Grenada Development Bank and the National Water and Sewerage Authority (NAWASA), in partnership with the German Development Corporation (GIZ), implements the project’s five components.

GAWP enagages members of Mt Craven CommunityGWAP members taking measurements to design RWH systems in Mt Craven