ROSEAU, Dominica, Tuesday April 9, 2013 – Dominica Monday launched an US$7.4 million water upgrade project that the authorities said would benefit thousands of residents and consumers in the north, east and south of the country.
The Mero to Castle Comfort project dubbed “The Third Water Supply Project Water Area-1 (WA-1) Network Upgrade” the project and is being funded by a US $6.1 million loan from the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the Dominica government and the Dominica Water and Sewerage Company (DOWASCO).
The CDB also gave a US$150,000 grant for technical study and capacity building.
Speaking at the launch of the 42-month project, DOWASCO board of directors member, Kay Robinson the area is affected by turbidity and the project will assist in alleviating that problem.
“WA-1 is frequently compromised by extreme turbidity levels that are often accompanied by extreme rainfall in these areas and we have seen a worsening of this in recent times. This results in frequent closures of the intake since the existing treatment facility is inadequate and storage is insufficient.”
The project comprises of three major areas: construction of a new intake at the Checkhall river approximately two kilometeres upstream from the existing intake; the upgrade of the network transmission and distribution system; construction of two distribution storage tanks of 100,000 gallons at Massacre and 250,000 gallons at Antrim; the upgrade of the existing Springfield intake; the Antrim filtration plant and the setting up of a leak detection and repair program.
It will also include ancillary work comprising of the access road and foot path to the new Checkhall intake.
Robinson noted that there will be various benefits will be derived from the project. “Several benefits mainly improved water quality due to a relocated source and upgrade of the treatment plant, and consumers will be able to enjoy a more reliable water supply with minimal interruptions many major socio economic benefits,” she noted.
Housing, Lands, Settlements and Water Resources Management Minister, Reginald Austrie, used the launch of the project to urge nationals to review water resource management.
“We continue to repeat and to say that we have 365 rivers… I am not sure when the last count was made but we might have a reduction in the number of rivers that we claim to have and I believe that is an awareness that we have carry across the country and we have to use all the institutions available to get that information across,” he said.
WA-1 is the largest out of 43 water areas island-wide servicing essential services including the Princess Margaret Hospital and various schools. It accounts for 48 percent of total water consumption.