The slopes of St. Vincent’s La Soufriere volcano, long the home of illegally grown marijuana, are being explored for geothermal potential. Credit: Kenton X. Chance/IPS

By A. Sam/API

The UWI, Seismic Research Centre has recently accessed financing from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) under the Community Disaster Risk Reduction Fund towards the implementation of the Volcano Ready Community Project in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).
SVG is among the most disaster-prone territories in the world and is affected regularly by the negative impacts of natural hazards such as volcanoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, landslide, rainfall events, storm surge and drought.

The Volcano Ready Community Project will seek to prepare and equip 12 vulnerable communities in northern St. Vincent to effectively respond to an eruption of La Soufriere volcano in a manner that will minimise the number of associated fatalities and injuries.

The project will seek to provide the scientific information, resources and necessary downscaling to support individual and community level volcano contingency planning, community-led multi-hazard mapping and capacity building for disaster risk reduction.

The project will also seek to fully utilise and leverage recent research outputs and products from the recently completed STREVA project that has provided invaluable insights into community needs, and the recently updated National Volcanic Emergency Plan.

Vulnerability to the multi-hazard environment of La Soufriere will also seek to be reduced by a combination of activities designed to enhance community early warning procedures, increase adaptive capacities, strengthen awareness and enhance response capacities.