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SKN Government to develop framework to access funding to transform water system in the country

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by Eulana Weekes

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Minister responsible for the Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities, Hon. Konris Maynard said the water situation in St. Kitts and Nevis was a focal point of discussion at COP27.

Speaking at the Post COP27 Press Conference on Wednesday, November 30, Maynard said links were established, and a framework is yet to be developed to ensure that the country has access to funding to transform the water system.

“We are thankful that at COP[27] we were able to sit first hand with the Adaptation Fund, which is not one that we have any advanced negotiations as yet with. My understanding is that as a country, we have at our disposal possibly US $20,000,000.00 million to aid in our adaptation here in St. Kitts as a result of climate change, and a project can be as large as 10 million dollars. I have discussed with my colleagues that our emphasis for access to this fund must be the transformation of our water sector, and so we are going to use that resource to develop the framework that would allow us to access the funding to assist in our water transformation,” Maynard stated.

Minister Maynard said the Federation is behind as it relates to the water sector, explaining that, had the recent decisions been taken a few years back, the country would have been much further on with initiatives to arrest the water situation.

“I want to express to the country that we understand the troubles that we have met with respect to our water situation, and if these decisions and these positions were taken only just two, three, four, five years ago, then we would be at a place like for instance, Barbados having access to US $40,000,000.00 in grants to transform its water sector and to make it resilient. We are behind, but you can rest assured that this Government and our Ministry [are] going to be punching hard to speed up [the framework],” Maynard explained.

However, Minister Maynard said in short order, a more detailed outline of the water situation would be shared and he will also share what will be done in the medium term to alleviate some of the challenges the country is experiencing.

Another vital aspect of COP27 was establishing Loss and Damage Funding. The fund would have wealthy countries compensate low-income countries, Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and other vulnerable territories for “loss and damage.” However, reports suggest that there is limited progress on new plans for reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that are warming the planet.

Minister of Environment and Climate Action, The Hon. Dr Joyelle Clarke shared that richer countries had no significant commitment to contribute to the pledge 1.5 billion-dollar fund made at COP26 in Glasgow. The Minister shared that despite the lack of commitment, the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), CARICOM and other Small Island Developing States will continue the fight for that funding.

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