Canada funds J6 Repeater Project

The Government of Canada will provide more than $25,000 (CDN) to the Saint Lucia Amateur Radio Club to improve Amateur Radio coverage and communication in the small Caribbean island nation in the event of a disaster. The project will install two repeater systems including solar back-up power, train 90 radio operators, and increase coverage for all of Saint Lucia’s 18 districts.

“Rising sea levels, coastal erosion, and an escalation in the frequency and intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes threaten homes and businesses across the Caribbean. These situations can have a significant negative impact on sustainable economic growth and result in loss of life,” the Canadian Government said in announcing the grant.

According to the announcement, the Saint Lucia Amateur Radio Club repeater system will provide enhanced two-way communication during normal and disaster conditions, allowing for Amateur Radio coverage in all communities — and especially in known high-risk areas.

“The project will ensure that, in future hazard events, reliable and accurate information can be passed from communities to response teams, leading to more timely and effective assistance to those communities,” the announcement said.

The nearly year-old Saint Lucia Amateur Radio Club secured support for this project through the Canada Caribbean Disaster Risk Management Fund (CCDRM), part of Canada’s $600 million Caribbean Regional Program. The fund is designed to support Caribbean-based non-governmental organizations, community groups, and governmental agencies working at the community level to reduce risks from natural hazards and climate change. — Thanks to the Canadian High Commission, Bridgetown