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GP Continues Recovery Efforts in St. Kitts and Nevis

Teaching farmers in St. Kitts how to prepare their crops for impending storms.

Shortly following Garden Pool’s hurricane recovery efforts in Barbuda, the Garden Pool team traveled to St. Kitts and Nevis with a similar goal– providing hurricane recovery support through the development of sustainable agriculture.

In traveling to the dual-island nation, Garden Pool first stopped in St. Kitts, where the team taught farmers how to make and prepare greenhouses for the hurricane. This proved vitally important, as the frequency of hurricanes and the extent of their damage in this area not only left residents without homes but their society without a stable source of food.

Ripping through the Caribbean and displacing thousands, the passage of hurricane Irma and Maria was catastrophic. In St. Kitts and Nevis, hurricane Irma alone left a trail of destruction worth $53.2 million in damages, and in other countries, like Barbuda and St. Maartin, evacuated residents came home to wreckage left in the hurricane’s wake.

In partnership with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), Garden Pool developed a climate smart farm to be built in Nevis. Focusing on rehabilitation and prevention, this climate smart farm provided a necessary, adaptable space where the residents of Nevis could raise crops and continuously address their agricultural needs.

Volunteers in Nevis building the structure of the climate-smart farm.

The Garden Pool team, IICA, and community volunteers built the climate smart farm in a couple weeks, first finding materials that could be repurposed into the components of the climate-smart farm. Using these materials, the skeleton of the greenhouse was reinforced, providing structural integrity to the build. Then, the greenhouse was covered, solar panels were fitted, and the climate smart farm came to life. After Garden Pool’s departure, the residents of Nevis continue to develop the farm, introducing new agriculture within it and continuing to utilize the adaptable resource.

After the project concluded, the governmental response from St. Kitts and Nevis was overwhelmingly positive, and soon a long-term commitment offer was extended to Garden Pool. The NGO’s focus on sustainable agriculture moves beyond simply building farms, as they work to provide intellectual resources to residents of countries in need. Within this commitment, the Garden Pool team taught residents of Nevis how to build, design, and develop climate-smart farms, allowing them to follow their own agricultural path. Beyond this,

Garden Pool CEO Dennis McClung (left), shaking hands with Hon. Deputy Premier Alexis Jeffers (middle) and IICA Representative Augustine Merchant (right).

Garden Pool is working with educators in Nevis to develop programs which strengthen food accessibility within their country and inspire youth to pursue agricultural development.

Garden Pool’s relationship with St. Kitts and Nevis remains strong, with the team even traveling back to Nevis for Open Day—a day dedicated to celebrating farmers and recognizing their importance—and was recognized for their contributions to the country.

The Garden Pool team will return for a hand-over ceremony, where the fully-functioning climate smart farm will be formally presented to the country, in early August during the Nevis Culturama Festival.