Development Projects in Grenada Preparing the Island for the Future

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SEATTLE — Grenada, a small island located in the southeastern Caribbean Sea, suffered widespread damage from Hurricanes Ivan and Emily in 2004 and 2005. Among the most severely affected areas were education, health, environment, power and agriculture. For example, in the health and education sectors, 11 healthcare facilities—including the second largest hospital— and all but two Grenadian schools sustained severe damage. The reconstruction of affected areas is complete; however, due to international relief assistance, Grenada emerges from the successive disasters with a very high debt burden. Currently, there are development projects in Grenada addressing economic challenges and other areas of development.

Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA)

CSA is agriculture that both sustainably increases agricultural productivity and resistance to climate change and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. CSA is the government’s strategy to raise incomes and provide jobs for individuals from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, improve food security and reduce poverty in Grenada.

In addition to economic development, CSA can effectively support social development and decrease youth employment rates in Grenada. “High levels of youth disengagement and unemployment constrain economic development and have negative social repercussions. These adverse impacts contribute to the creation and perpetuation of the cycle of poverty, increased crime and violence, and risky behaviors,” said George Yearwood at the Caribbean Development Bank.

Safe-Smart Hospital Project

The Smart-Safe Hospital Project’s objective is to upgrade one of Grenada’s hospitals, the Princess Alice Hospital, to a green facility, and is expected to have significant cost-saving health benefits for Grenadians.

The upgrade will include the installation of a new hurricane-resistant roof, improved safety features for the patients and staff, a new automated electrical backup power system and an improved water storage and supply system. With these changes, the hospital is expected to improve both its operations and service deliveries on the northern and eastern sides of the island and its capability to deliver care during times of disaster.

Geothermal Risk Mitigation Program for the Eastern Caribbean

The Geothermal Risk Mitigation Program for the Eastern Caribbean’s objective is to decrease dependency on energy imports in the Caribbean by increasing the availability of renewable energy through geothermal energy development. The program will provide up to 60MW of new capacity in Grenada, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The government of Grenada is looking to geothermal energy to help reach its development goal of reducing carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2025. By decreasing Grenada’s dependency on oil imports, geothermal energy development will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Integrated Solid Waste Management Project

The development goal of this project is to improve solid waste management in Grenada. The project involves research on waste resources and the commissioning of a new waste cell.

Grenada Education Enhancement Project

The Grenada Education Enhancement Project aims at expanding, rehabilitating and building schools in Grenada. The plan is to expand and rehabilitate six existing schools and to design three new schools. One part of the project is focused on enhancing the quality, relevance and effectiveness of teaching and plans to provide training and professional development for 1,700 Grenadian teachers and principals. Grenada has already demonstrated leadership in the education sector, achieving universal secondary education and gender parity in enrollment.

In recent years, Grenada has focused its efforts on climate change adaption, recognizing its link to economic, social and sustainable development. With these development projects in Grenada underway, the country continues to improve its capacity to address development challenges and constraints, to sustain growth and to build the resilience of socioecological systems and communities to climate change impacts.

– Gabrielle Doran

Photo: Flickr

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