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June 9, 2014
Star News


Three-year climate-change project completed

Non-profit organisation the Environmental Health Foundation (EHF) has recently concluded a climate-change project in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), leaving several agriculturists in good stead to go forward and prosper in full bloom.

The recently concluded three-year-long EHF/USAID project in Cedar Valley, St Thomas, sought to educate farmers on climate change, arming them with knowledge to better mitigate the effects of same.

Through a series of workshops, farmers were taught best practices. Participating farmers were also supplied with water tanks, farming tools and irrigation systems. Additionally, a rainwater harvesting system was set up for the farmers to better alleviate the pressures experienced with water availability, preserving livelihoods and agriculture.

Speaking with The STAR, EHF Resource Development Limited's (a commercial entity of the EHF Group) Michelle Samuels, assistant manager, special projects, explained the process.

"There was a comprehensive hazard mapping exercise that was undertaken...and that report was instrumental in setting the baselines. A big part of the objective was to find out what hazards Cedar Valley was actually susceptible to, and giving each of them a rank. We know that hurricanes are most likely to affect that area because most hurricanes approach Jamaican from south-east, so we know they end up being hit first. They're also on a mountain side; farming on hill slopes is very tricky. If you don't do your terracing, you contribute to soil erosion ... we knew exactly what work had to be done." she said.

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