(PRESS RELEASE) – The Government of Saint Lucia, under the Disaster Vunerability Reduction Project (DVRP), signed a contract on Sep. 9, with Alpha Engineering and Design (2012) Ltd. to continue studies towards a comprehensive assessment of the hydrologic and hydraulic conditions of Dennery Village and Soufriere, including Fond St Jacques, to inform flood prevention solutions.
The three communities in question, which were severely impacted by Hurricane Tomas in 2010, and the Christmas Eve Trough of 2013, are particularly vulnerable to flash flooding and landslides, which have led, among other things, to alteration and heavy sedimentation of water courses, consequently threatening sections of major roads, residences, bridges, utilities, schools and farmlands.
Speaking at the contract signing ceremony, attended by key experts of the consulting firm, staff of the Department of Infrastructure and the Project Coordination Unit, Permanent Secretary of the Department of Infrastructure, Ports and Energy, Ivor Daniel, noted the urgency in carrying out the relevant assessments, pointing to the recent Category 5 Hurricanes Maria, Irma, and Dorian which left a trail of destruction across the region.
“It is important that this comprehensive hydrologic and hydraulic assessment of these vulnerable communities be undertaken as the first step. The next step will be to review and implement the best flood mitigation solutions provided by the consulting firm. We are eager to significantly minimize the flooding and landslides which have tormented the residents in these communities for far too long.” Daniel said.
The hydrologic and hydraulic assessments will provide critical information about typical rainfall quantities and patterns and expected river flows under different intensity rainfall events in these communities which is necessary to inform best flood prevention solutions. Team Leader of Alpha Engineering & Design (2012) Ltd., Fazir Khan, says the Trinidad-based company – which has ensured that 50% of its key experts are Saint Lucians – has an unrivaled range of competent specialists, specializing in environmental assessment and hydrologic and hydraulic engineering.
“We have been involved in this type of work for the last 6 years throughout other parts of the Caribbean. We have conducted a similar exercise in Saint Vincent which was decimated by a storm similar to Tomas. We will review all existing reports and take nothing for granted. We will do all the design analyses that are required in terms of the hydrology and hydraulics in order to establish what would be the designs that are required in order to mitigate against flooding in the future in the three areas specified in this project,” Khan assured stakeholders.
Khan says the company is keen to provide climate-resilient solutions to ensure that residents of the communities realize the fullest benefits of the financial investment.
The Comprehensive Assessment of the Hydrologic and Hydraulic conditions of Dennery Village and Soufriere, including Fond St Jacques, comple-ments ongoing island wide slope stabilization and drainage works, as the Government of Saint Lucia, through the DVRP, seeks to increase the country’s resilience to weather-related disasters.
The consultancy kicked off on September 9, 2019 with an Inception Meeting and the Inception Report was submitted later that month. Technical oversight is being provided by the Department of Infrastructure, Ports and Energy supported by a Technical Working Group comprised of key Government agencies.