Rainy season starts in the Caribbean but drought could stay

By ACN

ACN – June 1 marked the beginning of the hurricane season for the Caribbean Area, which came along the rainy season, but forecasts say that rain will continue to be scarce.

This will cause water reserves to shrink affecting economic sectors and the populations of Caribbean island nations, specialists warned.

Predictions talk of a drier-than-normal rainy season this year with similar forecasts for 2016, which really means a serious challenge to the countries in this region.

Cedric Van Meerbeeck, a climatologist who attended in Saint Lucia a two-day forum of the Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), recalled dry year 2009, when conditions led to water rationing across many Caribbean islands, with low rainfall records reported in Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia and Guyana.

Saving water, using it in the most rational manner, and spreading information about the negative impact of drought as well as measures of response is a key program of action to counter the natural situation, and this is what the Caribbean island nation of Cuba is working on.

On Wednesday, the Cuban Newspaper Granma reported on a working of is Civil Defense Authority, in which the chief of that institution, Division General Ramon Pardo alerted that the hydraulic reality on the island is serious and may pose risk to human health if the necessary quality of water is not guaranteed.

Many Cuban communities have been supplied drinking water through cistern trucks given the exhaustion of water sources that provided water direct to homes. From November 2014 through April 2015, a total of 11 Cuban provinces have been hard hit by lack of rain, which directly affect reservoir levels.

According to Cuban meteorologist Abel Centella, who took part at the working session said that 75 percent of the country has felt the rainfall low, as 242 reservoirs under the management of the National Water Institute were only at 36 percent of their accumulation capacity.

The Civil Defense Chief called for joint work to minimize the drought impact and noted that despite measures in force, not everyone is fully aware of the danger posed by the natural phenomenon, which may hard hit sectors like agriculture, the industry and the services in general.

Meanwhile, at the meeting in Saint Lucia, meteorologists addressed this risk too, as they alerted that along with it, temperatures will increase over usual indicators in the Caribbean.

For some locals, like Saint Lucian farmer Anthony Herman the situation is simply frightening, he told the Inter-American Press Service, IPS. The farmer, who is board secretary and project coordinator of a cooperative said a response plan is crucial at this time, because he does not consider they have created the resilience necessary to fight drought, as they do not count on an appropriate water infrastructure.

Although the reality is the same for the region under the natural phenomena, each country is doing its bit according to existing capabilities, but the fact is that water, the most crucial resource ever for human life, becomes scarce and only rationality could give a response in the shortest term

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