Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 12, 2018 (SKNIS): The former Basseterre High School (BHS), located at Victoria Road, Basseterre, sits on the Basseterre Valley Aquifer. The soon to be built state-of-the-art BHS at Pond’s Extension in East Basseterre will also be built on the Basseterre Valley Aquifer. So, what is the controversy?

Some claim that the Basseterre Valley Aquifer will be contaminated by the building of the new BHS on it, while respected experts in the field, including a group of top experienced water engineers, who did the feasibility studies, say that the water contamination risk is literally non-existent.

“Based on the advice of experts, I say there is no need for concern,” said Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris during the 2019 Budget Address on December 12.

“The irony though is the BHS between East Park Range and Victoria Road sits on the aquifer,” he said. “Those who purport to defend the aquifer are comfortable with the BHS on the aquifer there, but not another location with all safeguards to treat with effluents off site further downstream and away from the wells.”

According to the prime minister, the government sought the advice of technical persons, development advisors and planners to assist in finding an adequate site for the high school and the site at Pond’s Extension in East Basseterre emerged as the top choice from among several other proposed sites.

Prime Minister Harris said that the scientists and development planners are all satisfied with the location.

“They advised that the probability of aquifer contamination is literally non-existent given all the safeguards and due processes which we have followed and continue to follow,” he said.