A middle-aged woman arranges bouquets of yellow roses in a street market in Little Haiti, a slum neighbourhood in the capital of the Dominican Republic. “I don’t want to talk, don’t take photos,” she tells IPS, standing next to a little girl who appears to be her daughter.
On a very dry November 2013, Jamaica’s Meteorological Service made its first official drought forecast when the newly developed Climate Predictability Tool (CPT) was used to predict a high probability of below average rainfall in the coming three months.
The recent lengthy drought in the Dominican Republic, which began to ease in late 2015, caused serious losses in agriculture and prompted national water rationing measures and educational campaigns.
“Sometimes we have too much water, which washes everything away,” Cecilia Joseph, originally from Haiti, said in heavily accented Spanish while pulling up a ñame root (a kind of yam) on her farm in the municipality of Santo Domingo Norte in the Dominican Republic.
Rubbish covers the beaches and clutters the rivers, the garbage dump is not properly managed, and more than 100 factories spew toxic fumes into the air in the city of Bajos de Haina, a major industrial hub and port city in the Dominican Republic.
Outraged at a court ruling that would potentially render stateless thousands of Dominican people of Haitian descent, the Caribbean Community on Tuesday suspended the Dominican Republic's bid to join the 15-member regional grouping.
Small farmers could play an important part in making Haiti – where just two percent of trees are still standing – green again.
Despite two government decrees making their import and usage illegal, styrofoam cups and plates are used and littered all over the capital, as well as bought and sold, wholesale and retail, completely out in the open.
The Dominican Republic first expressed interest in joining the 15-member Caribbean integration grouping CARICOM in 1989. Now, 14 years later, the Spanish-speaking country with a population of nearly 10 million may finally get its wish.
Despite the enormous distance between the two countries, Argentina has become an increasingly frequent destination for migrants from the Dominican Republic, especially women, who are vulnerable to falling prey to sexual exploitation networks.
"I get everything at the Haiti-Dominican Republic: carrots, squash, eggplant, cabbage, peppers, eggs, salami," explained a merchant at the Croix des Bossales marketplace, her stand teeming with goods. "The border is what feeds us."
One of the major difficulties to overcome in climate change adaptation policies in the Dominican Republic is society’s low awareness of the risks, even though this Caribbean island nation is seriously exposed to the impacts of the phenomenon.
"Nobody mourns the poor, you know." That is the grim conclusion of a resident of La Ciénaga, one of the many poverty-stricken settlements clustered along the banks of the Ozama River in the Dominican capital, and which are at the mercy of the weather.