Acting Minister of the Environment and Drainage, George Hutson, flicking the switch??to initiate the water harvesting and photo voltaic project. (A. Miller/BGIS)??

With the flick of a switch last Saturday, the National Conservation Commission (NCC) has become more energy and water efficient.

Acting Minister of the Environment and Drainage, George Hutson, turned on the switch that officially signaled the start of the Commission’s long anticipated water harvesting and photo voltaic projects during the National Arbor Day celebrations.

Speaking during the official opening ceremony at the NCC’s Codrington House, St. Michael headquarters, Mr. Hutson said: "The National Conservation Commission must be commended on this project initiative to set up a photo voltaic system to power security lighting on the compound here at Codrington, and to power a 2.5 horse power pump to assist in pumping water harvested from the building roofs to a holding tank for use in the irrigation system."

He explained that the rain water harvesting project involved the use of ten?? 1, 000 gallon tanks to store rain water from the roof tops of its buildings, which would then be used to irrigate the lawns and gardens at the NCC, and replenish the main water tank.

Meanwhile, the energy project is expected to result in a reduction of the Commission’s electricity bill, and has formed part of its policy of conservation to reinforce its commitment to the greening concept and to reduce Barbados’ carbon footprint.

The Minister pointed out that Government had taken a policy position to encourage the application of alternative energy supply programmes and projects, especially as Barbados’ present $800 million fuel import bill was not sustainable.

In highlighting the two initiatives, NCC Chairman, Tyrone Lowe, said the Commission also embarked on an educational programme with the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) in an effort to take the message further and get more people involved.

"We believe if we start with the BWU they have a large catchment, [and] we can make some meaningful impact on businesses, individual lives and on various interest groups," he said.


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