Region lacks capacity to deal with severe weather, says climate change expert

One climate change expert has said that the Caribbean does not have the capacity to deal with the impact of severe weather patterns that have been affecting the region in recent times.

The deputy director and science advisor of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), Dr Ulric Trotz, was speaking on the sidelines of a meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in Jamaica, on the heels of this week’s torrential rains in Barbados and St Vincent and the Grenadines, which triggered widespread flooding and infrastructural damage in both countries.

In the case of Barbados, the inclement weather forced the postponement of several activities marking the island’s 50th anniversary of Independence.

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Dr Ulric Trotz

“You’ll notice for instance we say that the region is going to be drier and there’s going to be less rainfall, but with the floods that you had in Barbados and St Vincent recently you wouldn’t think so. But what has happened is that previously when you get a set of rainfall extending over, say about a three to four month period, you’re getting all that in a few days, our drainage systems aren’t designed to basically deal with that.

“Our reservoirs for the water companies aren’t designed to hold that volume of water, so the water goes up. So what happens is there’s an extended dry period. The result is our reservoirs are dry and our aquifers are basically depleted,” he said.

Dr Trotz noted that the CCCCC is taking steps to address the situation across the region.

“We are addressing it by looking at water harvesting, which means that each household should have a facility, a cistern that catches the water when it is available. And we have installed a reverse osmosis plants, just as you have in Barbados, in a couple of countries, Bequia is one, and recently in Petit Martinique and Carriacou,” Dr Trotz stated.

According to him, all the facilities are powered by solar energy, given the fact that they are energy intensive. (MCW)

4 Responses to Region lacks capacity to deal with severe weather, says climate change expert

  1. Maya Trotz
    Maya Trotz December 3, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    Ulric Trotz is the Science Advisor and deputy director Barbados Today. What a delight to see your pic appear here. Was looking for an article of beach closure at Worthing – was actually staying at worthing court and kicked up a stink when they said i had to wade through the water to get to my room.

    Reply
  2. jrsmith December 3, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    This is why we are always behind ,this is rubbish talk , how many years would it take for each household, to purchase tanks and the necessary equipment for making the water usable for human consumption…
    In barbados our governments have failed to service and upgrade the overall water infrastructure.. we never had proper storm drainage systems in barbados ..
    We built house and paved over lots of the land when the rain comes no where to go , this just show for the past 3 to 4 decades nothing has really been done .. the whole is the same…

    Our problem we dont have the people with the right thinking , all we get from the so call educators , is soap box action because something is said or done some where foreign which might help us…we have a lot of clever bajans , in the (UK) and as returnees but the problem how do you engage the various talents, we cannot depend on politicians , they are just not interested unless it benefits themselves……….

    Reply
  3. Helicopter(8P) December 5, 2016 at 11:21 am

    We were taught way back in the 1950’s in the upper valley of of the island (Barbados) to catch what rains we got in October and November for hard times, pertaining

    Reply
  4. Helicopter(8P) December 5, 2016 at 11:26 am

    Continuation! to live stock keeping and potable water shortages.

    Reply

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