Delegates from The World Bank Group and The European Union (EU) this week paid one last visit to the Saint Lucia Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project (DVRP) activity sites. For close to a decade the DVRP’s mandate has been to strengthen Saint Lucia’s resilience to climate change.
The delegation of the World Bank and the EU toured the island with the purpose of overseeing key ongoing construction activities of the DVRP. These activities included construction sites of the Venus/Anse La Raye Road, the Piaye Bridge, Micoud Secondary School, Bexon Community Centre, Piaye Community Centre and Roblot Community Centre.
Senior Disaster Risk Assessment Specialist of The World Bank, Elad Schenfeld considers the long-lasting legacy of the DVRP.
“The DVRP has been implemented to close to ten years and this stage this is our last implementation support mission and obviously this is an emotional moment for all of us,” Schenfeld said.
He noted that the DVRP really achieved a lot throughout the previous years of implementation, from roads to intervening in bridges, community centres and schools.
“So the list is really quite impressive for a project like this and for us to see this project now closing, obviously a bit emotional but we are also thinking about the impact of the project and the ability to really mainstream resilient aspects in Saint Lucia and to think about what’s next,” Schenfeld said.
Two of the projects are funded by the DVRP through its EU funding envelope. These two are the construction of the Piaye Bridge and the Venus/Anse La Raye Road. The 12 km road was damaged by previous storms. It provided an alternative route between the communities of Millet and Anse La Raye for motorists, residents and agriculturalists.
Significant damage to the Piaye bridge was caused by flooding which occurred during the 1994 Tropical Storm Debbie and the 2013 Christmas Eve Trough. The new bridge will be a 25-metre-long double lane structure with a sidewalk designed to accommodate future extreme flood events.
Schenfeld expresses his pleasure at the success of the DVRP activities.
He added, “This is really impressive. It’s amazing, the type of work that the Project Coordination Unit is doing together with the consultants and contractors and despite many challenges throughout the previous few years.
“If you think about the COVID pandemic, if you think about supply chain issues, if you think about weather conditions, if you think about so many challenges that made it more difficult to implement all the activities throughout the previous years but we come here this week and we see very impressive progress on all of the activities be it, Anse La Raye/Venus road, be it the school we are visiting behind us, Micoud Secondary School.”
The DVRP was called into action in 2014, through a collaboration between the World Bank Group and the Government of Saint Lucia. The combined effort focused on activities meant to strengthen Saint Lucia’s resilience to climate change, natural hazards and extreme weather events.