General Manager of Dominica Water and Sewerage Company (DOWASCO), Bernard Ettinoffe has said that 98% of the island’s water coverage has been restored since Hurricane Maria.
He spoke at a World Water Day exhibition at Windsor park fore court on March 22nd, 2019.
Etinoffe said providing water to all Dominicans becomes very challenging as this is a country which is affected by climate change.
“Dominica has long embraced the policy to provide water for 100% of the population and was on course to doing so prior to Tropical Storm Erika in 2015 which dealt a severe blow to our infrastructure. We again made significant progress after TS Erika and was again on course at the time of Hurricane Maria which dealt even a more devastating blow than the storm of 2015,” he said. “We are pleased to report however, that in spite of these challenges Dominica can again boast of 98% coverage, island wide.”
He said extreme events, environmental degradation, population growth and unsustainable agricultural practices, are also among the challenges that result in water interruptions and water scarcity even in countries with an abundance water.
Meantime, Public Relations Officer of DOWASCO, Edward Registe said they are collaborating with the Forestry Division on an ongoing project of planting one million trees island wide for the preservation of Dominica’s water resources.
“Hurricane Maria dealt us a serious blow and it depleted the forest quite a bit and so it is necessary for us to re-plant the forest because if we allow the massive operation that we have right now, it could impact our fresh water resources and so we are happy to collaborate with the forestry department in their effort to plant a million trees across the country.” he said
Registe also stated that because of major improvements done to Dominica’s water system over the past years, Dominica now meets World Health Organization (WHO) standards in providing access and treated water to all communities.
He said Dominican citizens need to ensure that this continues so future generations can have access to potable water.
This year DOWASCO will be celebrating it’s 30th anniversary in July.