Posted: Tuesday, April 12, 2022. 4:11 pm CST.
By Benjamin Flowers: Belize has been featured in several of the Caribbean Climate Outlook Forum’s (CariCOF’s) Caribbean Drought Bulletin, and in its latest entry the regional organization has expressed concerns about long term drought.
The bulletin, issued yesterday, April 11, said that northern Belize along with The Bahamas, Barbados, Western Cuba, some of the southern Dominican Republic, the US Virgin Islands, St. Martin, St. vincent and Trinidad all have long term droughts developing.
CariCOF, which is based in Barbados, said that the month of February, “brought some relief from the dry conditions experienced in recent months across many parts of the Caribbean, there are concerns now about the prolonged drought situation in the region.”
The short term drought forecast runs up until the end of May, with many of the abovementioned countries also being listed as areas of concern.
“Areas ending up in long term drought by the end of May may experience significantly reduced water levels in large reservoirs, large rivers and groundwater during the dry season,” CariCOF warned.
Authorities in Belize have been sounding the alarm about increasing drought conditions as far back as February 2019, noting that the agricultural sector was hit particularly hard due to those conditions, which caused millions of dollars in lost crops.
The government of Belize is currently investing millions of dollars into the agriculture industry and various levels and through various interventions, such as the Resilient Rural Belize Project, a six-year initiative formed through a collaboration of Government of Belize (GOB), through the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development, and Investment (MED) with financing from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF), and counterpart funding from beneficiaries.
The programme will serve to minimize the impacts of climatic and economic events on smallholder farmers and support sustainable market access for their produce.
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