Barbados’ Forgotten Few

There is evidence that the ageing population of Barbados is being disproportionately affected by climate-related illnesses such as dengue fever, respiratory infections, asthma, and heat exhaustion. 

Informed, strategic interventions are however stymied by the fact that there has been little systematic employment of data and targeted research.

According to the experts interviewed for this investigation, an increase in adverse climate events is both worsening health conditions and affecting the delivery of care.

Narco Links Suspected as Cattle Ranching Threatens Belize Rainforests

The Guatemalan cattle were back. Dozens of them grazed in the clearing around Valentin Camp, a Belize Defence Force observation post located deep in the protected Chiquibul Forest near Belize’s disputed western border with Guatemala. The presence of the cattle meant that the Guatemalan villagers who raise them were not far away. Rafael Manzanero, who was leading a day-long visit to the area, was not pleased. 

As executive director of the non-profit organisation Friends for Conservation and Development, his work includes managing a small team that monitors and protects much of the 176,000-hectare forest in Belize. “We basically have noted and outlined cattle ranching as being the primary challenge that we face in the Chiquibul today,” Manzanero told the Caribbean Investigative Journalism Network.

The Venezuelans of Chaguanas

The town of Chaguanas in Central Trinidad has long been a bustling centre for the conduct of business, commerce, sport and leisure. Since achievement of borough status in 1990, It has grown in stature for its contributions to national life and is home to over 84,000 burgesses.

In recent years, Chaguanas has also become home to a high number of Venezuelan migrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers who now contribute to the key activities that set Chaguanas apart as a unique place to live, work, and play.

In this series of articles, with support from UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, CIJN journalists explore the contributions of this relatively new group of residents in the areas of business and commerce and music and sport. We also examine some of the initial and lingering settlement challenges.

Climate and Health – Caribbean Perspectives

As the world monitors the global thermometer, 1.5 to stay alive is more crucial than ever. There is a direct correlation between climate and health which is escalating. Extreme weather events, vector-borne diseases, respiratory illnesses and concerns around food and water security are issues which are looming over us as we witness a transforming environment. There is a need for a close examination of climate and its impact on health as there is need for mitigation and adaptation.

This series explores some of the experiences across the Caribbean and illustrates the need for cross border collaboration and cooperation towards solutions

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.

On a High

It’s a sacrament. It’s sacred. It’s how we communicate with our ancestors. Genesis 1:29 says the earth brought forth grass and herb-bearing seed, and the Lord saw that it was good. I don’t see how men could see that it is not,” said Ras I’an, a Rastafarian Priest. 

He drapes a hand-crochet prayer scarf, clutches a Rastafarian flag bearing the lion of Judah and enters the Mount Carmel Tabernacle, tucked in the Barbadian parish of St. John. 

This Tabernacle is different. It has no doors or windows, and the floor is the land.

The Caribbean’s War on Guns

Criminal violence, employing a wide variety of firearms, has emerged as a singularly important challenge for countries of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in the modern era.

Through this series of articles by correspondents in Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago, readers can acquire a basic understanding of the multi-faceted nature of the phenomenon of gun violence in the Caribbean.

Geothermal Energy: A Possibility or A Wasted Venture

A Viable Solution For Economic And Energy Sustainability In Dominica

Measuring 46 kilometres in length, the Caribbean Nation of Dominica is a volcanic island with nine dormant volcanoes, mountain streams, rivers, waterfalls, densely forested areas, large geothermal reservoirs, and a population of about 72,000. Dominica is optimistically exploring geothermal energy and constructing a 10 MW geothermal power plant by the beginning of the year 2025. However, some residents of Roseau Valley and Laudat have expressed safety concerns regarding the geothermal project’s impact on the island’s volcanic activity. They are concerned about the damage to tourist attractions in the Roseau Valley. Residents say they are also not clear about the status of an Environmental Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) Technical Study submitted to the Physical Planning Division for approval.

St Kitts and Nevis – Ripening Plans in the Agriculture Sector – Facing Food Security Challenges

Farmers in St. Kitts and Nevis are losing out on more than USD $66 Million (EC$180m) in revenue annually due to their limited knowledge and skills as entrepreneurs within the agriculture sector and it is driving up the food import bill. The dependency on imported foods to St. Kitts and Nevis – with a population of 53,000 – cost the country more than USD $74million last year. The time has come for farmers and vendors alike to be more business-orientated to ensure that they capitalize on the benefits to lower the import bill.

Dominica at Risk of Losing its FreshWater Resource

‘A land of 365 rivers’ is just one of the phrases that describe the beautiful Caribbean island of Dominica. But with so many rivers and freshwater catchments, these questions come to mind: why do some communities experience intermittent Water supply, why have others been unable to drink the water they receive and why are some unable to access pipe-borne water in 2023?

This report will illustrate and ascertain the state of the country’s freshwater distribution network. We will also look at what led to the challenges currently being faced by the relevant authorities and how we, as a nation, can improve and preserve our freshwater sources in Dominica, to avoid becoming victims of a looming crisis.