Pillar #6 of the Saint Lucia Economic Recovery and Resilience Plan focuses on Disaster Risk Mitigation and Climate Change.
Policy intervention #32, under this pillar, calls for the provision of 800 water tanks to vulnerable communities and essential public services to ensure water security in the event of a natural disaster.
In 2020 over 382 water tanks were presented to local churches, NGO’s and service organizations to bolster their resilience in responding to disasters.
On Friday, March 19th, 2021 it was the turn of the agricultural sector where a total of 190, 1000-gallon water tanks, manufactured in Saint Lucia by Brice and Company Ltd., were made available to the Ministry of Agriculture via the Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Programme (DVRP) for distribution farmers island-wide to help ensure sustain food production during the dry season.
Minister for Agriculture, Hon. Ezechiel Joseph made the first presentation of one such water tank to Ms. Kenisha Arnaud, a young female farmer from La Bourne in Monchy, who runs a modest but successful vegetable and poultry farming business.
The community of La Bourne has had a long history of persistent water issues, severely affecting farmers of this community.
The Minister also called on the DVRP for even more assistance in providing water tanks, as the 190 provided will only wet the appetite of the demand by farmers for increased water resilience as the ministry advances its food security agenda.
In expressing her gratitude for the presentation Ms. Arnaud opined that being selected as a young, female farmer gives her confidence that the government is looking out for young persons involved in farming as a business.
She pledged that the tank will come in very handy in her farming operations and will allow her to hopefully, increase her production.
Also present at the handing over ceremony was the Permanent Secretary in the Department of Agriculture, Mr. Barrymore Felicien, Director of Agricultural Services, Dr. Auria King-Cenac, Chief Economist in the Department of Economic Development, Transport and Civil Aviation, Mr. Tommy Descartes as well as other government officials.