‘Time is against us’ • Caribbean Life

Inter Press Service / Desmond Brown

Tropical Storm Erika, the deadliest natural disaster in Dominica since Hurricane David in 1979, extensively damaged the island’s main airport in August 2015. St. Lucian Prime Minister Allen Chastanet says time is running out for small states such as those in the Caribbean as they struggle to develop infrastructure capable of withstanding changes in weather conditions.

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CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Aug 28, 2017 (IPS) — A Caribbean Community (CARICOM) prime minister has reiterated the call for developed countries to assist Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in their quest to combat the effects of climate change.

The St. Lucian leader, Allen Chastanet, said time is running out for small states such as those in the Caribbean as they struggle to develop infrastructure capable of withstanding changes in weather conditions.

The momentum of progress on climate change has been stymied by recent decisions by the United States in relation to the Paris Agreement.

“I am going to keep pounding on the table and letting my voice be heard explaining that the SIDS cannot wait,” Chastanet said.

“There is no greater example of that than what took place in Haiti. Did we not know that Haiti was in a hurricane belt? Did we not know that there was clearly a trend of increasing storms? That all we needed was a trough? What took place last year, the world and all of us must bear responsibility for. The Haitian people were left to confront one of the strongest and most devastating hurricanes we have seen in a long time with cardboard boxes.”

On Oct. 4 last year, Hurricane Matthew struck southwestern Haiti leaving widespread damage in the impoverished Caribbean nation. Matthew was a late-season Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale, having formed in the…

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