CDB to provide grant funding for updated Rio Cobre flood monitoring system

The road through the Bog Walk Gorge in Jamaica is a major thoroughfare for vehicles travelling between the north and south coasts of that island. However, it is at times rendered impassable due to heavy rainfall and flash flooding, and this puts persons in surrounding communities at risk. An automatic flood early warning system was previously installed on the Rio Cobre River, which is interlinked by the Bog Walk Gorge. The system has been rendered inoperable due to lightning strikes that disabled the transmitters.

The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is providing grant funding of EUR 219,000 to the Government of Jamaica to upgrade the existing flood monitoring system on the Rio Cobre. Funding is being provided through the African Caribbean Pacific-European Union-Caribbean Development Bank Natural Disaster Risk Management (ACP-EU-CDB NDRM) in CARIFORUM Countries Programme. The Rio Cobre is the third largest watershed management unit in Jamaica, and includes large sections of Spanish Town and the fast growing municipality of Portmore.

Flooding of the Rio Cobre puts a number of communities at risk, and this project will help to support the delivery of accurate and early notifications to residents and key stakeholder groups, such as motorists, the police, fire brigade and emergency response personnel. We expect that this project will help to reduce the loss of life, and reduce damage caused by flooding. The upgraded system will also take advantage of solar renewable energy to enable continued data and information during extreme weather events,” said Cheryl Dixon, Coordinator, Environmental Sustainability Unit, CDB.

The project is scheduled to be completed over a 12-month period. It aligns with the purpose and objectives of the ACP-EU-NDRM programme and CDB’s Climate Resilience Strategy 2012-2017, which prioritises the mainstreaming of climate change adaptation into sectoral policies, strategies and plans.

The ACP-EU-CDB NDRM Programme is an initiative of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, funded by the European Union. It supports disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation activities in the CARIFORUM countries.