Habitat for Humanity

The mission of Habitat for Humanity Trinidad and Tobago is to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action.

They train communities to build their own self-reliance through:

  • Community self-assessments of vulnerabilities and capacities;
  • Construction skills training;
  • Budgeting and savings workshops, and
  • Community-based disaster risk reduction.

The Adopt A River Programme has partnered with Habitat for Humanity to assist in alleviating water supply issues in rural communities, especially those without pipe-borne water. The goal of this project is to develop and install integrated rainwater harvesters in communities in Trinidad and Tobago in order to reduce water supply deficits and prepare communities for climate change.

The outcomes are as follows:

  • Increased potable water supply and consistent irrigation supply for residents, due to the construction of these Rainwater harvesting systems. Additional community members who are trained in Rainwater Harvesters may install systems on their own house.
  • Building self-reliance – communities will become proactive through training sessions for the Rainwater Harvesting systems.
  • Replicability of the project – once the benefits are actualized and the project is accomplished within schedule, it can be introduced to other areas that are without access to water.

Recently, the Adopt A River Programme assisted Habitat for Humanity’s Safe Shelter through Landslide Mitigation Project in Moriah, Tobago. This project aimed to reduce the vulnerability of households in landslide prone areas by improving shelter safety through the building of landslide mitigation measures, including retaining walls, rainwater harvesters and tree and groundcover plantings, with technical support and community training. The stakeholders involved were:

  • AARP
  • TEMA – Tobago Environmental Management Agency
  • The Division of Infrastructure and Public Utilities (DIPU) and
  • The Tobago House of Assembly (THA)

This project successfully completed the following:

  • 10 Retaining walls serving 50 persons;
  • 5 Rainwater harvesting systems serving 25 persons;
  • 1 Community project (bathroom facilities for Community Centre) serving at least 400 persons;
  • 100 trees planted;  and
  • 50 persons trained in one or more landslide mitigation technique (retaining wall construction and maintenance, rainwater harvesting system construction and maintenance, tree and ground cover planting and care).
  • In total, 400 persons benefitted from this project.

The Programme will continue working with Habitat to install rainwater harvesters. Future work is planned for Matelot, Caura, Cashew Gardens and Santa Cruz.