St. Kitts and Nevis: Training of Trainers Workshop on Drought Risk Reduction

Between the 5th to 7th June 2019 the Training of Trainers Workshop on Drought Risk Reduction was held in Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis by the Caribbean waternet /Cap-Net UNDP, Global Water Partnership Caribbean (GWP-C) and the Business Development Unit, Faculty of Food and Agriculture, University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus (BDU-FFA-UWI).

The workshop was launched with an opening ceremony chaired by Ms. Cheryl Jeffers, Conservation Officer, Department of Environment. In Ms. Jeffers’ introduction and welcome she alluded to the timeliness of the training highlighting that Drought was recognized in the National Climate Change Policy and it was recommended that all relevant sectors engage in the activities that can help build resilience. Ms. Simone Lewis then gave brief remarks as the Regional Coordinator for the Global Water partnership-Caribbean followed by Dr. Ronald Roopnarine who spoke on behalf of Faculty of Food and Agriculture, UWI, St Augustine and Caribbean WaterNet/CapNetUNDP. Dr. Roopnarine highlighted the need for capacity building as it pertains disaster risk management in the Caribbean. He went on to pledge the support of Caribbean WaterNet towards this cause.  The Honourable Eugene Hamilton, (Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources, Cooperatives, Environment and Human Settlement) officially opened the training workshop. In his feature address he assured participants that his government will continue to undertake and support various actions that will ensure that St. Kitts and Nevis builds its resilience to minimize the impacts of droughts.

The workshop was facilitated by three specialists, Prof, Jacob Opadeyi and Drs. Ronald Roopnarine and Mark Wuddivira.

Drought Risk Management in the context of the Caribbean was presented to alert participants on the current trends in the Caribbean region. This included, occurrences, possibility of future occurrences, Impacts, and management techniques. This session encouraged lively discussions throughout, with participants highlighting the need for continued efforts towards improving the current state of affairs pertaining to disaster risk management in the Caribbean.

Participants were introduced to the four (4) types of drought and the various means of identification.  Dr. Roopnarine explained the characteristics of a drought and how droughts occur.

In addition, using the Hyogo Framework for Action participants learnt to use a similar approach. It must therefore involve the following processes:

  • Policy and governance
  • Drought risk identification and impact assessment and early warning
  • Drought awareness and knowledge management
  • Reducing the underlying factors of drought risks
  • Strengthening preparedness

As part of the discussion that followed, participants were reminded that policy and governance involve everyone at all levels. There is also a need for community driven activities to help influence and Inform the process.

Moreover, participants were introduced to the Drought Management Framework and Methods of Assessing Impacts and Feasibility of Proposed Solutions. The concept of Integrated Water resource management was presented with an explanation of its ability to combine perspectives from society, governance, education and research institutions. The steps in preparing a DRM framework were also discussed:

  • Identifying Planning and Coordination Strategic Areas (PCSA)
  • Establishing the Critical Success Factors (CSFs) Matrix for Drought
  • Identify performance indicators that are based on pressure, state, impact and response process (PSIR)

The workshop ended with participants emphasising that the information shared over the 3 days is a good start for the sectors to begin some work in establishing a drought risk management framework.