West Coast Water Supply Project Moving Steadily

The West Coast water Supply Project is said to be well on target.

That’s according to Project Supervisor of the West Coast Water Supply Project, Joseph Floissac.  He made the remark following a visit by Prime Minister Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit and other government officials to one of the aspects of that project in the heights of Picard, Portsmouth.

“The first phase is pipe-laying along the West Coast Road which is about ninety-five percent complete and we’re hoping to complete pipe-laying works by the end of this month. We anticipate that the construction of the intake, access roads and treatment plants will be completed before the end of next year. We are well on target in terms of the budget and time line.”

That project costs over thirty million dollars and is being financed by the Government of Dominica and the European Union.

Carleen Roberts is National Authorizing Officer of the European Union Fund.

She told reporters last week that the EU continues to be a true development partner to the Government and people of Dominica and it has invested heavily in the development of the island’s water system in an effort to improve access to potable water.

“The European Union has invested, continues to invest and is programmed to invest further in Dominica’s water sector. Through the Special Frameworks of Assistance, the European Union has invested a significant sum of money in the West Coast Water Supply project…. So we need to commend the European Union for their continued partnership with the Government and people of Dominica through water sector investment,” Roberts said.

Prime Minister Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit is pleased with the economic activity that the water project has generated and with the status of the water system..

He stated, “All the construction material was purchased locally, the construction workers and truckers are also benefiting from this project. This is a project that we’ve been hearing about for a long time and when we (Government) came into office, there were designs…but we had to redesign the project and make adaptations, we also had to negotiate for the financing of the project and finally we’ve started.”

The Prime Minister said that the beneficiaries of the water system have been anticipating a solution to their water woes for a while.

He said, “If one is to travel from Capuchin down to St. Joseph, one will hear of the unavailability of water in those areas. When I had meetings in Dublanc, Bioche and Colihaut, residents always raised concerns about the unreliability of water there. Finally we are approaching the end of the tunnel as it were with the realisation of this very important West Coast Water Supply Project.“

Minister for Water Resource Management, Hon. Reginald Austrie says Government still needs to raise an additional ten million dollars for the West Coast Water Supply Project.

“Apart from pipe-laying on the West Coast and constructing the intakes at Picard and Coulibistrie, we also have to build about nine storage tanks which will cost between nine and ten million dollars. So the Government now has to find the additional funding. The pipes are underground with no water flowing through them…basically useless so we have to make them functional by raising the necessary funds. Government has already found fifteen million for the major water system and we have to find the additional ten million. That means that over two years, Government would have spent almost fifty million dollars in potable water access.”

The investment in the island’s water supply is part of Government’s Social Investment Policy.

Austrie said, “We don’t only see development in concrete structure- we see development in people’s advancements which is important. Water is one of the most important commodities in the preservation of life. While it is expensive, Government has an obligation to ensure that every single Dominican, by 2015, has access to potable water. The world is expecting that 100% of the earth’s entire population would have access to potable water and we’re hoping to do our part by next year when we complete the Belles/Penrice Water System.”

The Minister for Water Resource Management wanted to applaud Government for a job well done.

He said, “The Minister of Finance and the Government have to be complimented for finding those resources to pump into our water sector, knowing well that those investments will never be able to repay themselves. We will ensure that the people of Dominica, however, will always be guaranteed a source of clean potable water.”