Residents within the city of Roseau now have an improved and reliable water supply system.
On Tuesday the Government of Dominica officially commissioned the 4.5 million dollar storage tank in Morne Bruce.
The tri-chamber 500,000 gallon tank, which took a year to complete, will not only provide water for residents of the city but will also serve the Windsor Park Sports Stadium and supply bulk water to visiting cruise ships.
Prime minister Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit, who was the featured speaker at the ceremony, noted that this project is tangible evidence that government is awareness of the country’s needs.
The Prime Minister said that government recognizes the importance of improving the quality and availability of potable water and has spent a significant amount of money to upgrade water systems across the country.
“I daresay that this Government has spent a tremendous sum of money by way of grants and also the approval of loans on behalf of Dowasco to improve the water systems. We have gone to places which previous governments felt made no sense to go because there were few homes and the level of investment required made no economic sense. This government, the Dominica Labour party government believes in investing in the people, investing in social programmes and we see water and the provision of potable supply of water as a social good.”
“This is why; in the Roseau South Constituency we have spent in excess of 13 or so million dollars in recent times, to improve the water supply in this part. As we speak there are several other water improvement projects taking place along the length and breadth of Dominica from Penville to Bense to Grand Fond and of course the entire West coast from Capuchin down to Salisbury. We improved and replaced the pipes from St. Joseph to Canefield.”
Meanwhile Minister for Water Resource Management, Hon Reginald Austrie boasted that Dominica has achieved close to ninety-five percent of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG) for water.
The aim is to reduce by half the number of persons without access to safe drinking water by the year 2015.
Minister Austrie said however, that with potable water available to most Dominicans on island, the issue now is of water conservation.
Hon Austrie quoted Sandra Postell who is a leading authority on international water issues.
“I quote, “For many of us water simply flows from a faucet and we think little about it beyond the point of contact. We have lost a sense of respect for our rivers and our lakes for the complex workings of wetlands and the intricate web of life that water supports,” end quote”
“Here in Dominica it can be said that we are children of a culture born in a water rich environment. It would seem that we have never really learnt how important water is to us. We understand it but we do not respect it. There was a time when we used to think that energy and water were critical issues and that would be for the century but now more than anything else, we know that water is a critical resource in the world today.
The minister challenged everyone to conserve Dominica’s water resource.
“It is never easy for Government to secure funding for this infrastructural development but all this efforts would be futile if in the near future we did not have adequate supply of water to ensure sustainability of these investments.”
Magnus Williams, Chief Engineer at Dowasco affirmed the objective of the storage tank which is to improve the reliability of the water system.
Williams also explained the specifics of the tank.
“The storage tank comprises of three chambers which may operate as independent tanks or collectively as a single tank. The largest chamber has a capacity of 258 thousand gallons and will provide storage for Roseau and environs. Another chamber has a capacity of 178 thousand gallons and can be dedicated for service to the Roseau Cruise Ship Berth once a ship is expected in port. The smallest chamber has a capacity of 87 thousand gallons and can be reserved for exclusive use by the Stadium during large sporting and other activities. When no cruise ships are expected in port and there are no planned activities for the Stadium, the entire storage capacity will be used to serve Roseau and environs. The storage tank measures 89 feet in length by 69 feet in width and 17 feet 6 inches tall.”
Chairman of Dowasco, Larry Bardouille also addressed the ceremony and listed a few of the ways that the now largest built storage tank will benefit the island.
Bardouille noted firstly that there will be fewer energy costs since the company will not be forced to pump water from Antrim to provide for Morne Bruce and Roseau residents and that there will be fewer interruptions in water service for those communities since the tank provides an additional source of water to draw from.
Bardouille made special note of government’s pivotal role in the entire process.
“We are thankful to have the unwavering support of the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica through our Minister for Lands, Housing, Settlements and Water Resource Management, Hon. Reginald Austrie and his Ministry, the Hon. Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Roosevelt Skerrit through whose ministry approval for the contracting of loans must be given and co-signed. Dowasco cannot go into a bank and say give us “x” amount of money, the Government of Dominica is firmly behind us when we borrow monies either locally or from the CDB and we appreciate that very much. We couldn’t have done it without them. The Government has also contributed the lands at this historic site where the tank is now erected. Government graciously made it available to Dowasco in the National interest making sure that we have this tank and we can receive the benefits from its presence.”
The project was executed by contractor, Ace Engineering while the design was conceptualized by Consulting Engineers Partnership and the environmental impact study was carried out by Eclipse Incorporated.