CAF is implementing a USD 10 million project for flood relief in Trinidad and Tobago

October 09, 2023

The first grant-funded project to address mitigation measures to Climate Change under the Adaptation Fund titled “Multi-sectoral Adaptation Measures to Flood Relief in the South Oropouche River Basin” has been launched, with a budget of USD 10 million.

CAF: USD 10 million project for flood relief in Trinidad and Tobago

This project implemented by CAF -Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean- is part of the Government’s implementation of the National Climate Change Policy which inter alia seeks to adapt to the impacts of climate change and climate risks, which are projected to result in more intense rainfall in Trinidad and Tobago, but less cumulative rainfall over time.

The activities will be managed by the University of West Indies, and it represents the biggest grant executed by the University. The project aims to increase the resilience of the South Oropouche River Basin’s population and ecosystems to flooding, sea level rise, and expected increasing water deficit events. The project seeks to reach 9,758 direct beneficiaries and 175 ha. of key coastal and wetland ecosystems.

Speaking at the launch which took place at the Debe High School, the Honourable Minister of Planning and Development, Penelope Beckles said the South Oropouche River Basin was chosen as a result of a consideration of a number of factors, including vulnerability to flooding and climate risks, population density, commercial, agricultural, and cultural activities, and impacts on citizens, as well as the size of the catchment.

Bernardo Requena, Country Representative of CAF, Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean, reaffirmed that the success of the four-year project will depend largely on community engagement, as those who live and work there would be able to contribute to the solutions that will benefit the wider community.

Mr. Kishan Kumarsingh, head of the Multilateral Environmental Agreements Unit at the Ministry of Planning and Development, pointed out that this project represents a milestone for Trinidad, as it is the first one to implement climate change adaptation measures on the island.

As part of the launch, the project's Steering Committee approved the Annual Operational Plan and the Procurement Plan that will guide its execution until September 2024.  This initiative is being executed by the St. Augustine campus of The University of the West Indies and is one of the most significant projects to be delivered by the University in the recent past, both in terms of budget and scope.

This project is a demonstration of CAF’s commitment to working with its member countries to mobilize significant additional grant resources in support of climate change adaption and resilience-building in the Caribbean.