Chairman of the Barbados Water Authority (BWA), Leodean Worrell, is confident the state-run service provider will be transformed into one that is modern and efficient, under the Barbados Water Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project.
Delivering the welcome address at the project’s launch, held on the compound of the Bowmanston Pumping Station on Friday, she said it “will result in improved operating efficiencies and the reduction in non-revenue water losses by at least 41 per cent, which in turn leads to a reduction in operating costs”.
“This project will provide a short term and long term plan, including investment costs for sustainable water and water services, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the production of water,” Mrs. Worrell added, noting that a master plan was being developed for the water and sanitisation sector, in alignment with Government’s goals.
Stating customer satisfaction was paramount, the BWA Chairman assured that the water supply issues being experienced across some parishes will be remedied through the extensive work to be carried out, which includes repairs of mains and other pipe infrastructure, and the building of storage capacity at various pumping stations.
Funding for the project has been provided through a loan agreement from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Latin American Development Bank (CAF). The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Investment has been instrumental in the process.
During her remarks, Minister Marsha Caddle highlighted the importance of ensuring access to basic needs at all levels of society to the country’s socioeconomic development.
“Water has to be the top priority for the country’s Public Sector Investment Programme. It is far too basic. In the post-independence period, we cannot have a situation where access to water is holding the country’s development back,” she stated, while reiterating her Ministry’s commitment to the undertaking.
She added: “The doing business environment in many ways is about the basic purpose of why you’re here; to be able to deliver goods and services to people; to be able to make sure that some of these basic goods are available to Barbadians and those who live here, in a way that eases the burden in a way that means people can go about their lives and be their best productive selves without having to worry about something as basic as the supply of water.”
As she praised all those involved in the project, Minister Caddle highlighted the collaboration of the EIB and CAF.
She said it was “outstanding and heartening” to see both financial institutions coming together to aid in the development of Barbados, and she hoped to see other lending partners act similarly.
The EIB’s representative for the Southern and Eastern Caribbean, Floris Vermeulen; European Union Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Daniela Tramacere; and Director Representative of the CAF, Gianpiero Leoncini, shared similar sentiments, and expressed confidence in the BWA’s ability to not only address the water issues, but also ensure a sustainable supply for all householders though the Barbados Water Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project.