Report conducted in partnership with the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute of the University of Nebraska
This report reviews information on drought characteristics and management in the Caribbean region, identifies the relevant national and regional agencies and focal points involved in drought management, and brings together information on their work at national and regional level.
Climate-related hazards are the most frequently occurring natural hazards in the Caribbean. The region's vulnerability to climate-related hazards, such as strong winds, storm surge, flooding, and drought, manifests in loss of life, economic and financial losses, and damage to the environment. The Caribbean region faces significant challenges in terms of drought.
It has focused mainly on floods and storms, and so currently lacks effective governance, human resource capacity, and finance, and has poor national coordination, policy-making, and planning in place to deal effectively with drought issues. The Caribbean accounts for seven of the world’s top 36 water-stressed countries.
Barbados is in the top ten. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) defines countries like Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, and St. Kitts and Nevis as water-scarce with less than 1000 m3 freshwater resources per capita. The predominant practice of rainfed agricultural production means the region is vulnerable to the very variable and unpredictable rainfall.
This review is based on three approaches – a review of published and grey literature on drought, specifically its impact on agriculture; a review of the steps being taken mainly by government agencies to plan for and manage drought; and a questionnaire on drought sent to farmers and those who provide water services to assess their views on drought and drought management.
FAO Water Reports; No. 42