Vulnerability Assessment of Livelihoods in the Nariva Watershed, Trinidad and Tobago


This study assessed the potential impact of climate variability on water access, water resources, ecosystem health, vulnerability and adaptive capacity, for residents of the Nariva watershed, Trinidad and Tobago.
The study calculated households’ vulnerability levels, their use of water, and their observations of medium-term changes in the flora and fauna in their communities. A Livelihood Vulnerability Index (LVI) was created using six pillars: (i) environmental capital, (ii) physical capital, (iii) social capital, (iv) human capital, (v) economic capital, and (vi) natural disasters and perception of climate threat. This index was based on the Sustainable Livelihood Approach (SLA) framework.
The LVI for Nariva was 0.454 suggested medium vulnerability, a value of 1 indicates extreme vulnerability; 0 indicates little vulnerability. Of the six pillars, the environmental capital pillar contributed the most to vulnerability for Nariva (0.630) while the physical capital pillar contributed the least to vulnerability (0.351). One key result is that while the communities are classified as poor, most of the threat to water resources is derived from the ability to access and store sufficient quantities.


Afiya De Sormeaux and Sharon Hutchinson