by Kevon Browne
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): “In St. Kitts, we are blessed with a precious resource that must be cared for to ensure its sustainability for future generations,” said Minister with responsibility for Public Infrastructure, Shawn Richards in his World Water Day address.
Richards added that St. Kitts had moved from a system that relied solely on gravity-fed surface water, to a combination of groundwater and surface water; a network of pumps and storage tanks linked by hundreds of kilometers of pipeline.
“The government only in December last year signed a contract for over six (6) million dollars with BEAD LLC to undertake Well Drilling/Remediation in the Cayon and Basseterre Areas.”
Richards reported that the last time water rates were increased in St. Kitts was 2001, some twenty years ago. Our water rates are amongst the lowest anywhere at 72 cents per 100 gallons if the total is 5000 gallons and under and the $1.20 per 100 gallons if the total monthly is over 7000 gallons for residential homes.
On Nevis, the Water Department announced that it will begin a disconnection exercise on the island.
Premier of Nevis Mark Brantley, during his January 28 press conference indicated that huge amounts were owed to the Water Department.
“Now why are we engaging in this? … the numbers are simply staggering; the numbers are staggering and the kind of people and businesses on the list for not paying for water will make even the hardest heart cry.”
“I believe that all of us must play our part, and it cannot be fair that the single mother who is currently unemployed is trying to find a little money each month to pay for water and big companies and wealthy people in the community are refusing to pay. The same is true of electricity,” he said.
Minister responsible for Water Services in the Nevis Island Administration Spencer Brand in his address to commemorate World Water Day highlighted the losses made by the Water Department on Nevis.
“Our costs out way the revenue collected. A crude analysis of our revenue and expenditure reveals that for three years the Nevis Water Department collected $5.684 million in 2018, $6.488 million in 2019, and $5.544 million in 2020. However, the department spent a total of $11.326 million in 2018, $8.102 million in 2019 and $8.128 million in 2020 excluding the electricity costs.”