The Dominica Water And Sewerage Company, DOWASCO, hosted a water resources management workshop for members of CARICOM states here on March 27th and 28th.
The workshop, held in collaboration with the Agencia Nacional de Aguas of Brazil and mainly financed by Brazil is geared at assisting CARICOM member states with collaborating to effectively manage freshwater resources and finding sustainable solutions for providing pipe borne water.
In addressing the opening ceremony, Honorable Minister for Foreign and CARICOM Affairs, Francine Baron, expressed that this workshop is a step into realizing Sustainable Development Goal number 6 (SDG6); SDG6 of the United Nations Development Programme is focused on clean water and sanitation.
The minister says while the Caribbean islands and Latin America are in a relatively secure position with regards to fresh water supply, the current concern is ensuring that all citizens have access to clean water and proper sanitation at reasonable costs.
“The issue, however, is not whether our region is fresh water rich; it is the institution of a raft of policies that result in a situation where all citizens including the poor have access to clean water and sanitation at a reasonable cost. It is about realizing Sustainable Development Goal number 6- ‘Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all’. Not only in terms of meeting current demand but also meeting the needs of generation to come,” she said.
Hon Baron says she is confident that with the diligent work of DOWASCO, Dominica will soon realize its goal of potable water to all citizens. She thanked the Government of Brazil for their contribution and partnership with Dominica in working towards that goal.
“Collaboration in water resource management is one of the key domains in the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Government of Dominica and Brazil and we are pleased to share as well as tap into the knowledge and experience of this renowned entity.”
General Manager of DOWASCO, Bernard Ettinoffe explained’ “This workshop comes as a result of the cooperation agreement entered into between the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica and the Government of the Federative Republic of Brazil; which seeks to strengthen the management of the water resources here in Dominica and by extension the region.”
“It is the second of two workshops planned under the regional agreement. The first took place in Barbados and was aimed at ground water management while this second workshop is geared towards surface water management and will focus on preservation and conservation of water sheds, reduction of soil erosion and siltation of water sources, planning of hydro-meteorological networks and management and operations of hydro-meteorological networks to include water quality management.”