Plans To Upgrade Barbados??? Water Infrastructure

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Minister with responsibility for Water Resource Management, Dr. David Estwick (centre), greets Chairman of Innotech Services, Anthony DaSilva, at the groundbreaking ceremony. At left is General Manager of the BWA, Denis Yearwood. (C. Pitt/BGIS)??

Efforts are continuing to upgrade Barbados’ water and sanitation infrastructure.

This was disclosed by Minister with responsibility for Water Resource Management, Dr. David Estwick, who said Government had signed a loan agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for some $50 million dollars to assist the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) in this regard.

"The loan is intended to reorganise and modernise the BWA into becoming one of the most, if not the most, efficient water utility in the Caribbean by upgrading its operations and infrastructure in key areas such as the delivery of a potable water supply, wastewater collection and treatment, customer service delivery and in the management of its assets," he pointed out.

Dr. Estwick was speaking yesterday during the groundbreaking ceremony for new the state-of-the-art Barbados Water Authority headquarters at the Pine, St. Michael. Construction of the facility will be completed in about two years.

He added that as part of efforts to reorganise and modernise the BWA, the department would move towards 24-hour operations in key areas; the preparation of a long-term business plan; benchmarking performance standards which will be measured against other utilities; a long-term customer service plan; a sustained public awareness campaign; upgrading of the Information Technology and Customer Information System; and preparation for regulation by the Fair Trading Commission.

In addition, the Authority will be looking at a Wastewater Action Plan and will seek to develop a Wastewater Master Plan to determine priority areas which are in need of sewering.

Dr. Estwick revealed that Government had recently signed an agreement with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) for US $1.2 million dollars to undertake the Water Supply Network Rehabilitation and Upgrade Study.

He noted that the study would inform the projects associated with a US $35 million dollar loan which Government is negotiating with the CDB.

andre.skeete@barbados.gov.bb

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