This post is part of a recurring series of perspectives on the impact of our work by staff and partners of the Clinton Foundation.

Last fall, two Category 5 hurricanes tore through the Caribbean region and island territories causing catastrophic devastation and leaving thousands without shelter, power, or adequate access to food and clean water.

As part of the Clinton Foundation’s ongoing efforts to improve lives and promote sustainability in the region after these hurricanes, President Bill Clinton recently traveled to Saint Lucia and St. Thomas and St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands to advance recovery, rebuilding and sustainability projects. This was President Clinton’s third trip to the region in the wake of last year’s hurricanes. His press secretary, Angel Ureña, filed this report:

Opening of solar farm in Saint Lucia

After arriving in Saint Lucia, President Clinton traveled to the coastal town of La Tourney to participate in the opening of a new 3-megawatt (MW) solar farm. The utility-scale renewable energy project, the first of its kind in Saint Lucia, was made possible through technical assistance from the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and the Clinton Climate Initiative.

At the dedication ceremony, he told the crowd: “This is the beginning of a comprehensive, determined, unrelenting effort to make Saint Lucia, and all island nations of the Caribbean, stronger, safer, and more sustainable.”

To see more about President Clinton’s visit to Saint Lucia:

Announcing solar projects in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Following his visit to St. Lucia, President Clinton traveled to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where he announced the solarization of three community facilities that had been identified as high priority by local partners.

These facilities — two schools on St. John and a community center on St. Thomas—were forced to temporarily close after the hurricanes. The newly-installed solar systems will provide the sites with reliable, sustainable sources of clean energy that will help them stay open in the event of another hurricane or natural disaster. The new solar systems will also help them significantly lower their monthly energy costs.

Speaking at the community center on St. Thomas, President Clinton said: “The ‘how’ questions make all the difference in life. There will always be a new problem to be tackled. But the success rests on whether you can answer the ‘how’ question.”

Turning ideas into action in Miami

Before traveling to the Caribbean, President Clinton also stopped in Miami for the second formal meeting of the CGI Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery, launched earlier this year to advance long-term disaster recovery and resiliency in the Caribbean region and island territories.

At the meeting, President Clinton announced several new commitments including expanding a community-based recovery approach in Puerto Rico and addressing the information and communications readiness gap in the Caribbean region. Learn more here.

#OnAssignment with President Bill Clinton: Saint Lucia and the U.S. Virgin Islands was originally published in The Clinton Foundation on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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