7 Years of Extreme Weather in Granada Increases Malnutrition & Poverty

Meredith Waters (US) and Gillian Primus (Grenada) have been working for the past six months on a project on the Island of Grenada that has been hit by a series of tropical hurricanes and tropical storms exhibiting increased ferocity over the past seven years.

1.   Meteorological Data

Most recently, they have investigated meteorological data to see if there have been measurable changes in weather, and long-term weather forecasting to see how climate change may be affecting the island. 

They then conducted a survey with community members to better understand local knowledge of climate conditions—and also coping strategies that these community members have adopted.
2.   Local Knowledge.
They then compared the local knowledge with the scientific knowledge and found substantial similarities. With this new understanding they then fine tuned their project outline to best meet both climate variability and community need.

Here are their conclusions:

Accurately define local CC context and programming.
100 subsistence farm families in the parish of St. Patrick’s (which is considered the food basket of the nation) of Grenada, are suffering from losses of and reduced crop harvests due to extreme weather, an unpredictable rainy season, and extended periods of drought. This is leading to a reduction of food security, increased malnutrition, and increased poverty.

A community-based adaptation program will improve crop harvests through a farmer soil & water conservation program, and through a farmer extension program designed to incorporate drought resistant farming techniques and crops into subsistence farms. This will increase the levels of food security, and decrease the levels of malnutrition and increase farm incomes.

Meteorological research

Research from last week revealed long-term CC challenges over the next 40 years. Scientists are expecting a median temperature increase of 3.0° C, a decrease in precipitation of 9%, and the reduction of surface water of between 10% and 50%. Without adaptation measures, these complications will lead to an expansion of semi arid areas, a further reduction in food production, higher food prices, and less water for agricultural irrigation — contributing to an even greater reduction in food security and an increase in malnutrition and extreme poverty.

Results of community survey
A. Historical Timeline: is the community seeing a change in climate?
—Change in the timing of the planting seasons for a lot of crop varieties; it seems to be starting later and ending earlier
—Drought; prolonged periods of dry spells in the middle of the rainy season
—Shorter duration of rainfall, but heavier in impact in the rainy season
—Unpredictable rainfall during the rainy season
—Two major hurricanes, several extreme tropical storms and one year duration of severe drought for the 10 year period

The extreme weather events were noticeable from eleven years ago, but major observation began 7 years ago in 2004 with hurricanes ‘Ivan’ which was followed in 2005 by Hurricane “Emily” and since then these have been followed annually by tropical storms.

B. Vulnerability Matrix: What is a prioritization of the community’s greatest hazards they face?
—Change in the timing of the planting seasons for a lot of crop varieties; it seems to be starting later and ending earlier
—Drought; prolonged periods of dry spells in the middle of the rainy season
—Shorter duration of rainfall, but heavier in impact in the rainy season
—Unpredictable rainfall during the rainy season

C. Vulnerability Matrix: What parts of their lives (livelihood resources) are the most vulnerable?
These would be the elements in the vertical column of the vulnerability matrix and may include:
—Food Security
—Income Generation
—Proper nutrition for their families

Compare your project outline to new information that you may have learned that the workshop.
Original Project Outline
Health and Hygiene Program [Solution to underlying cause: little knowledge of health and hygiene]:
Family garden and nutrition program [Solution to underlying causes: little knowledge of nutrition and shortage of food reserves]:

CBA program related to climate variability.
Farmer Soil Conservation and Water Conservation and Management Program [Solution to underlying causes: Climate variability, extreme weather, and unpredictable rainy season have reduced crop harvests]:

New program related to climate change added to outline
Farmer Extension Program [Solution to underlying causes: Unpredictable/late start to rainy season; mid-season drought/early end to rainy season have reduced crop harvests.]

Download the two completed reports here:
1. Community Survey Workshop

2. Combining Local Knowledge with Meteorilogical Data

What’s happening in the region where you live?
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The Center for Sustainable Development specializes in providing sound, evidence-based information, tools and training for humanitarian development professionals worldwide. CSDi is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
We are pleased to draw your attention to a new Guide released by UNDP-UNEP. This guide provides practical, step-by-step guidance on how governments and other national actors can mainstream climate change adaptation into national development planning as part of broader mainstreaming efforts.

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