On March 13th at the Antigua Girls High School, Inter- American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) conducted a prize-giving award ceremony to students of the Antigua Girls High School (AGHS) with gifts for their participation in a Youths Creative Arts Competition a component under a project entitled, “Strengthening Coastal and Marine Climate Resilience through Upland and Coastal Ecosystem-based Adaptation and Community Engagement,” which is a regional project funded by the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF).
National Specialist Mr. Craig M. Thomas gave a synopsis surrounding the background of the project its accomplishments thus far and the future interventions under the project.
According to the organizers of the competition, it was highlighted that the Antigua Girls High School was the only school in Antigua and Barbuda that participated in this regional competition.
Adriana Armstrong claimed 1st place with her art piece entitled, Nature’s Beauty where she received a tablet and a cell phone.
Ms. Armstrong explained that she has a love for the environment and anything to bring awareness to the betterment of the environment is something she will be a part of.
Adriana Hendrickson and Hannah Akalazu placed 2nd and 3rd place with their pieces entitled Positivity and Her Beauty also were presented with prizes for their participation.
The project focuses on the vetiver grass which was imported from Dominica two (2) years ago with the aim of controlling the leaching of toxic chemicals and soil erosion at the Cooks Landfill into the nearby Hanson’s Bay Mangrove swamp which is considered one of the largest in Antigua.
Three (3) Strips of grass 1000 feet long were established along the base of the old landfill to control the leachate entering the swamp disrupting the biodiversity of the wildlife.
The vetiver grass which has roots that grow 15 feet long creates a filtration system to control the chemicals before entering the swamp.
The participants were presented with their prizes as well as value-added products such as soaps, pillow mists, lip balms, and even aromatic bags derived from the vetiver grass which were created by two beneficiary entrepreneurs GARDC and Nee Shoynte Beauty.
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