News Releases

UWI studies Flood Risk and Community Vulnerability in the lower Caroni river basin

For Release Upon Receipt - September 30, 2014

St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Trinidad and Tobago – The UWI St. Augustine’s Department of Geography is conducting a study to investigate terrestrial flood risk in the lower Caroni River basin. This will be assessed within the contexts of climate change, community vulnerability and adaptive capacity in seven communities along the St. Joseph and Caroni rivers: Bangladesh, Bamboo 2, Bamboo 3, Valsayn North, Valsayn South, Caroni and La Paille. 


The project aims to quantitatively assess current and future flood risk using a mixture of methods from the social and physical sciences.  These are being integrated within a community-based vulnerability assessment (CBVA) structure to provide a holistic and robust overview of the flood hazard and its impact on communities. Communities are being placed at the centre of the research undertaken, ensuring the significance of the project to local people. 


During the month of October, teams of community-based researchers will conduct a surveying exercise in the seven communities under study. The primary aim of these surveys is  to  assess  the current  exposures  and  sensitivities  to  flood  risk  in  communities,  and  identify  current adaptive strategies and future adaptive capacity to changing flood risk. Researchers will be working in teams with project ID badges and all information collected will be kept confidential. If you are a resident or business owner in one of the study sites, please extend your consideration to the community surveyors as they try to document flooding in order to create an evidence base for future improvements. Following from this, a series of workshops will be held to disseminate results to the communities.  


The main project team is composed of principal investigator, Dr Matthew Wilson (Department of Geography); and co-investigators Dr Priya Kissoon (Department of Geography); Dr Vincent Cooper (Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering); and Dr Michael Taylor (Department of Physics & Climate Studies Group, UWI-Mona).



About The UWI

Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with well over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. Website: 


(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)