By Kevon Browne
St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The federal project to secure water in vulnerable schools in St. Kitts and Nevis saw the delivery of onsite water storage tanks and delivery systems presented to six educational institutions on Nevis on October 20, 2020.
In a release from the Nevis Island Administration it was said that the systems were installed 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 recipient schools on Nevis are the Charlestown Pre, Charlestown Primary, St. James’ Primary, Ivor Walters Primary, Cecele Browne Integrated, and Charlestown Secondary schools.
Minister of Environment and Water Services in the NIA Spencer Brand, said the impact of this project is significant because it would ensure students, faculty and staff have an uninterrupted supply of safe drinking water at the schools throughout the day, despite any emergency stoppage in the water system.
The storage capacity of 54,000 gallons of water installed and retrofitted at the schools would reduce the strain on Nevis’ water system and would promote rainwater harvesting which is a water conservation and management approach that have proven to be effective throughout the world.
Brand said the project is a welcomed addition to the efforts of the NIA to enhance the water system and supply on Nevis.
He said “The project falls within the 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 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.”
Conservation Officer in the Department of Environment in St. Kitts, Cheryl Jeffers, informed that 12 schools on St. Kitts were also outfitted with similar systems.
The twelve schools on St. Kitts were the Dr. William Connor Primary School, McKnight Day Care Center, Beach Allen Primary School, Industrial Site Day Care Center, Cayon High School, Cayon Primary School, Cayon Day Care Center, Tabernacle Day Care Center, Saddlers Day Care Center, Dieppe Bay Primary School, Sandy Point Day Care center and Primary School.
Jeffers also mentioned the appropriateness of this initiative in relation to the projections for the region to get drier due to climate change.
She added, 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.
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.