Turning to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, a team of our colleagues, working with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), is in the country and in neighbouring Barbados to provide environmental assistance in support of both Governments following La Soufrière’s eruption. The volcano continues to erupt and remains at red alert level.
The 14-person team, 12 of whom are in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, includes five environmental specialists with expertise in geology, ash management, environmental pollution and green response.
Air quality, ash management and related water and soil contamination are among the main environmental concerns. Other challenges include sanitation in shelters, the excessive use of plastics, as well as the large amount of waste generated by ongoing relief efforts.
Food security and livelihoods have also been affected due to the impact of the eruption on agriculture, livestock, marine ecosystems and ecotourism.