The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs is reporting that most of the country’s ponds are filled following the passage of Tropical Storm Fiona.
The Ministry says it has been working, along with other partners, to eliminate the negative impact of the drought the country has been experiencing for over a decade.
Accordingly, for the past six months, it has been focused on ponds around the island in an effort to restore and repair them, or to dig new ones.
“The intentions of this project were to ensure that more water catchments were available in time for the much anticipated and needed rain; to provide harvested water for irrigation and other specific needs of the farmers; and to provide roaming animals with water so that they could keep hydrated,” a statement from the Ministry says.
Another objective, it adds, was to alleviate the strain on the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA).
During the passage of TS Fiona between September 17-19, Antigua and Barbuda received 24.35 inches of rainfall, according to the local MET Office. This was able to fill some of the ponds, which will be of great assistance to farmers, the Ministry says.
One of these catchments is the Weaver Pond, located in St. Paul’s between Liberta and Bethesda. That area received 4.9 inches of rain, bringing the pond from a few gallons of water to three-quarters full.
The Seventh Day Adventist School Pond, which also had only a few gallons, is now filled to capacity from the 3.8 inches collected in St. John’s, the Ministry reports.
The wet season normally starts in mid-June and ends mid-November. However, September is on record as the wettest month so far this year, with an average of 9.3 inches of rainfall.