Over 10,000 residents on the west coast of Dominica are expected to benefit from a multi-million dollar water project which forms part of Component 1 of a Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project (DVRP) funded by the World Bank.
On Wednesday pipes and fittings, worth $1.7-million for the West Coast Water Storage Tanks Project were officially handed over to the Ministry of Housing, Lands and Water Resource Management by the Ministry of Health.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Helen Royer, said the overall project will directly benefit 20 communities along the west coast, with a total of 10,819 residents.
“On a national level the beneficiaries account for 15 percent of the population,” she noted, during the handing over ceremony.
She explained that the project will see the construction of eight water storage tanks and the supply lines within a number of communities on the west coast.
“The tanks’ capacity range from 30,000 to 100,000 gallons,” Royer stated, adding that the land for constructing the tanks has already been purchased.
Meanwhile Chief Engineer at DOWASCO, Magnus Williams, said the company’s aim was to provide between 24 and 48 hours of reserve storage on each water system but on many of its systems, that target has not been met.
“The West Coast Water Supply project involves, not only construction of new intakes, treatment plants and primary supply and transmission lines which were undertaken via funding from the European Union, but also the construction of nine storage tanks,” he said. “Unfortunately construction of these tanks has been delayed due to a lack of funding, with the exception of the Grand Savanne storage tank, financed directly by the government of Dominica. Funding is, however, now available through the World Bank under the DVRP to finally allow the construction of the eight remaining tanks in Morne Rachet, Colihaut, Bioche, Picard, Glanvillia, Savanne Paille and Cottage.”
He said construction of the tanks would be in vain without the associated pipe network to transfer the water from the main transmission line running alongside the EO Leblanc Highway to the tanks and then take water to deliver to customers.
“These pipes and associated fittings have been procured under the DVRP in advance of the construction and installation works and are stored at this Jimmit facility in anticipation of the award of contracts for works,” Williams said.
The Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project (DVRP) is worth $38-million.