NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS — Onsite water storage tanks and delivery systems were commissioned at six educational institutions on Nevis on October 20, 2020, as part of a water security project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), Global Environmental Fund, United Nations Environmental Program, Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, and the Nevis Island Administration (NIA).
The systems were installed as part of a federal project: “Ensuring Water Security in Vulnerable Schools in St. Kitts and Nevis through onsite Water Storage Capacity.”
Hon. Spencer Brand, Minister of Environment and Water Services in the NIA, officially commissioned the systems during a ceremony at the Charlestown Secondary School, where six 1000-gallon water storage tanks were installed.
He said the impact of this project is significant as it would ensure that students, faculty and staff have an uninterrupted supply of safe drinking water at their schools throughout the day, despite any emergency stoppage in the water system.
“On several occasions in the past for example, the normal operation of some schools would have been affected by a broken transmission line in their area, or due to unforeseen technical issues developed in the water system. Hence, this project is welcomed and very much appreciated.
“In addition, the storage capacity of 54,000 gallons of water installed and retrofitted at our schools would reduce the strain on our water system as it would promote rainwater harvesting which is a water conservation and management approach that have proven to be effective throughout the world,” he said.
He said the project is a welcomed addition to the efforts of the NIA to enhance the water system and supply on Nevis.
“The project falls within our development plans for the water sector on Nevis. The NIA has established a Water Resource Management Unit that will work with various stakeholders including the Nevis Water Department and the schools to manage our water resources in an integrated way which involve activities such as promoting public awareness and information, encourage water conservation techniques, rainwater harvesting and water storage, and assist in policy formulation emerging from data collection and analysis.”
Mr. Kevin Barrett, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education on Nevis expressed gratitude for the timely project, on behalf of Hon. Troy Liburd, Junior Minister of Education in the NIA.
“I cannot emphasize enough how much a project such as this to the Ministry of Education, and more particularly our schools. It is not only a timely project, it is also a very necessary project…A big thank you has to be to be given to the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre…and also USAID, for not only providing the financing for such a needed project but also for seeing just how important water is to the proper and efficient functioning of our schools,” he said.
Ms. Cheryl Jeffers, Conservation Officer in the Department of Environment in St. Kitts, informed that 12 schools on St. Kitts were also outfitted with similar systems.
She said as the region is projected to get drier due to climate change. Building resilience is of utmost importance, therefore, the project catered for retrofitting systems and installing pumping systems where possible, and the installation of new storage tanks at some institutions.
The recipient schools on Nevis are the Charlestown Pre, Charlestown Primary, St. James’ Primary, Ivor Walters Primary, Cecele Browne Integrated, and Charlestown Secondary schools.
Mr. Denison Paul of WaterWorks Solutions oversaw the installation of the water storage and distribution systems.
The overall budget for the project was approximately EC$490,566, of which $215,947 was allocated for Nevis. The project was a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Environment in St. Kitts and Nevis; as well as the Nevis Disaster Management Department, Public Works Department, and Ministry of Education in Nevis.