Antigua and Barbuda(ænˈtiːɡə and bɑːˈbuːdə) are two island countries, east of St. Kitts and Nevis, with a location of 17 03 N, 61 48 W. The islands have a total area of 442.6 sq km (Antigua 280 sq km; Barbuda 161 sq
The islands have a population of 84,522 with a life expectancy of 75.26 years. The religious afiliation is 25.7% Anglican, 12.3% Seventh Day Adventist, 10.6% Pentecostal, 10.5% Moravian, 10.4% Roman Catholic, 7.9% Methodist, 4.9% Baptist, 4.5% Church of God, 5.4% other Christian, 2% other, 5.8% none or unspecified. Antigua and Barbuda is 82.4% black, 12% white, 3.5% mulatto, 1.3% British, Arab, and other. 85.8% of the population is literate.
Droughts have been a major problem on the islands. Twenty-four months of no rains have been recorded. Increase temperature has seen rise in mosquitoes and thereby diseases such as dengue fever. When it rains excessive downpours have caused flooding and soil erosion. Hurricane Gonzalez and Erika have devastated the island. Sea level rise has contaminated fresh water aquifers. In addition, sea level rise and storms and hurricanes have lead to beach erosion, vital to the tourist industry.
Antigua and Barbuda have undertaken action and policy to address climate change. They founded the SIRF fund which will be funded by investment in renewable energy like solar energy, fines on polluters, and from donors from the international community. The fund will finance climate change actions such as the planting of trees. It will provide low interest loans to individuals and businesses to retrofit buildings for hurricane resilence. The islands also are engaging in projects of rain water harvesting. Antigua and Barbuda have developed comprehensive environmental policy to protect the environment.
Around 2400s B.C., Antigua was inhabitated by the Siboneys. Between 35 A.D. and 1100, the islands were inhabitated by Arawaks. Columbus arrived in 1493, he named the islands Santa Maria de La Antigua. The French and Spanish tried to settle the island but because of scarce fresh water and Carib attacks, never settled the island. In 1632, the British establish a permanent colony. By 1674, sugar production was establish and large importation of Africans. Between the 17th and 18th century, Antigua was a major shipping point because of its harbors and dockyards. Slavery ended in 1834. After slavery, the island suffered prolonged economic hardship. To benefit local labor, in 1939 Antigua Trades and Labor Union was formed. In 1943, the ATLU joined with other trade unions and formed the Antigua Labor Party(ALP) with Cornwall Bird as the president. Beginning in 1949, ALP won all major elections except elections between 1971-1976. In 1981, Antigua received independence with Barbuda fighting for political separation. In 1989, Vere C. Bird became the first Prime Minister, amidst charges of rampant corruption. Charges continued and was eclipse with government being accused of gun smuggling. In 1992, opposition parties came together under the United Opposition Front, demanding an end to corruption in government.