Climate-Proofing Education: How Antigua & Barbuda is Tackling Rising Temperatures

Thousands of students who have headed back to school in Antigua and Barbuda since September, are being impacted by severe heat as global temperatures continue to rise. The heat is putting young learners in an environment that is not only uncomfortable but it affects the quality of education they receive. If they cannot stay focused, they’re not getting that information that is communicated. It affects their ability to perhaps even recall or even do the exams sufficiently because the body is already under pressure to get rid of that heat.Climatologist, Orvin Paige

Our research found that the heat is not uniformed all across Antigua and Barbuda. Orange Valley and Five Islands tend to record the highest temperatures, creating additional challenges for students in these areas, while Freetown experiences comparatively milder conditions.

Making a Case for Heat Advisory Watches and Warnings

In the middle of what is traditionally described as the wet or rain season, Grenadians for the first time had to take personal measures to deal with heatwave weather advisories that for some are only heard during the weather segment on USA news networks. “This weekend is forecast to have lower cloud cover, lighter temperature compared to the last few days. Dress appropriately, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, avoid closed spaces, look after the young and old,” was the advisory published by both the Met Office and the National Disaster Management Agency. Explaining that such an advisory will be issued when temperature occurs for two consecutive days beyond the statistical marker of 31.7 degrees Celsius, Gerard Tamar, Head of the Meteorological Office at the Maurice Bishop International Airport said that these advisories are aimed at warning citizens about the weather condition and the need for them to take personal care. The heat advisory warnings were preceded by days and nights of high air temperature which had citizens complaining about the humidity.

The Impact Of Climate Change On The Disabled Communities' Health In Dominica

Globally, about 1.3 billion people are living with disabilities. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), this represents 16% of the world’s population, or 1 in 6 of us. 

In many countries, people with disabilities (PWDs) are mainly seen as members of a vulnerable community, and their skills or abilities are often sidelined or overlooked by the wider society. 

On the Caribbean island of Dominica, the same is true. Although some NGOs and human rights advocates continue to raise awareness regarding the plight and achievement of people with disabilities, civil society and the central government are not doing enough to bolster the community toward sustainability and inclusion. CIJN has identified some of the main challenges affecting the disabled community in Dominica. It is clear that after the passage of Tropical Storm Erika in 2015 & Hurricane Maria in 2017, people with disabilities were exposed to more significant risks of noncommunicable diseases, severe physical injury, anxiety disorders, amplified respiratory conditions, infectious diseases, lack of access to medical care and medication and in some cases, even malnutrition.