Government is seeking to explore a social project that could see in excess of 1, 000 pit toilets converted to water borne facilities, the reconstruction of at least 500 vulnerable homes and families empowered through education, training and job opportunities.
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley expressed this desire during a recent courtesy call with Senior Operations Officer from the Department of Public Sector Operations, The OPEC Fund for International Development, Arij Senussi, and Assistant for the Caribbean Area, Nelson Louison.
They were joined by Minister of Economic Affairs and Investment, Marsha Caddle; Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Alies Jordan and Consultant to the Prime Minister, Juanita Thorington-Powlett, in the Committee Room at Parliament, recently.
Ms. Mottley described the social project as “an opportunity to make wrong things right”, and noted that the venture was critical for the stabilization of the vulnerable population.
“We are trying to raise a grant and very low interest funding because no one in the 21st century should have to go to a pit toilet to relieve themselves, but we still have between 4,000 and 5,000 on the island,” she lamented, stressing that it was the small things that often made a fundamental difference.
The Prime Minister further noted that Barbados could not go forward into the third decade with unbalanced development.
In response, Mrs. Senussi said her agency had experience in that area, having executed a similar project in Belize. She noted that such projects could span from civil works to the psychological needs of a child and other related areas.
Stating that the project could be “tailor-made” to suit Barbados’ needs, Mrs. Senussi said the next step would be to create a project profile and design the concept.
The senior operations officer explained that the cost of the plan would determine the loan amount. She also advised government officials to put together a concept with the cost estimation financing request, along with supporting documents.
“We will make a determination from there,” she said, noting it could be done in phases.
Other areas discussed included the stabilization of roofs, and building resilience across Barbados through the replacement of water mains and moving overhead cables underground, and the stabilization of the Scotland District.