Minister responsible for Water Resource Management, Hon. Reginald Austrie says while the cost of bringing potable water to communities is a costly venture, the Labour Party Government is committed to ensuring that by the year 2015 all homes in Dominica have access to pipe-borne water.
The Minister says the provision of water to all communities is a necessity and not a profit-making endeavour.
“Water is an investment in people. We do not make profit out of water in this country because infrastructure is very expensive. Most of our water comes from the mountains, most of our villages are in fact in the mountains and many times we have to pump water uphill. If we had to charge people based on true value of the water they are getting, ninety percent of Dominicans would not be able to take water to their homes. We understand that water is an essential commodity and although we are not making monies off the water- DOWASCO is always in the red- we have to bring the water to the people because it’s necessary and it’s the responsibility of the state to do it,” he said.
In 2012 the Government of Dominica invested millions of dollars in water systems across the island. The Minister says plans are to commission the Vieille Case and Belles Water Supply projects this year.
“We should have done Vieille Case before we did Penville but based on the judgement of the Prime Minister he felt that it was essential ... to put the VieIlle Case project on hold to deal with the Penville project. It is expected that as soon as the Penville Water Supply project is completed we will move to find the resources to do Vieille Case. In addition we need to focus on the Belles, Penrice and Sylvania Water Supply Projects.”
Providing sustainable access to improved drinking water sources is one of the most important goals which Government hopes to achieve by the end of 2013.
The Minister is hoping that by that time, Dominica will be one of the first countries to achieve 100% access to potable water in keeping with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.