Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 22, 2017 (SKNIS): The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis continues to address the water issue in St. Kitts and Nevis with the aim of ensuring that persons have access to potable water by implementing a number of projects.

During his address to observe World Water Day 2017, which is celebrated on March 22 annually, the Honourable Ian ‘Patches’ Liburd, Minister of Public Infrastructure, said that with the ongoing drought conditions throughout the region his ministry took immediate remedial actions.

“For example, a $200,000.00 water supply improvement project provided assistance to the residents of Saddlers who suffered for months without running water at the peak of the drought. A well was re-commissioned in Lodge Village, a pump installed at Cedar Grove along with other system improvements island wide, aimed at bringing relief to our residents. These interventions came at a total cost of over $500,000.00,” said Minister Liburd. “Several other short and medium term projects are underway as we endeavour to address the current water deficit in St Kitts. A 14 million dollar Deep Well Drilling Project was signed in January 2015 and was expected within one year to add another 2.0 million gallons of water per day to the Basseterre system and alleviate our water woes in the short term.”

Minister Liburd explained that due to the delays in the Deep Well Drilling Project, the government contracted Ocean Earth Technologies (OET) to “conduct a parallel project in order to provide another 1.0 million gallons of water per day to augment” the federation’s water supply in the Basseterre Valley Area.

“In the meantime, my ministry embarked upon a $600,000.00 Water Supply Improvement Project to build redundancy in the Phillips to Mansion system. Excess water from the Mansion Well is now being pumped all the way to Phillips and Molineux; this will correct the intermittent supply that was experienced in those communities,” said the minister of public infrastructure. “The project is now completed and even in the midst of the dry season, farmers in the Mansion area, the CARDI Research Facility and the Primate Research Facility at Estridge are now enjoying more reliability in their water supply.”

He added that the government budgeted an additional $500,000 for improvement of the existing water vehicle fleet, and 2.3 million dollars have been set aside for the construction of storage tanks in the Boyds/West Farm area.

Minister Liburd said that the monies were allocated “so as to provide a more reliable supply for the developments in that area, and also to augment the supply at the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine (RUSVM). Furthermore, my Ministry is committed to providing piped water access to all homes in St. Kitts (under the Universal Access to Water Project). To this end we have started a second phase of island wide surveys to determine the number and location of households that are without this basic amenity. We pledge to roll out this project in the coming months,” he said.