(PRESS RELEASE) – The governments of Japan and Saint Lucia have signed a multi-million dollar project agreement for the reconstruction of bridges in the Cul de Sac basin.
During a recent signing ceremony, Japanese Ambassador to Saint Lucia, His Excellency Mitsuhiko Okada, disclosed that his government would be providing financial assistance totaling 1,530,000 Yen, equivalent to EC$37 million, towards the project.
The funds are being made available under Japanese Development Cooperation Project, and will assist with the reconstruction of the Cul de Sac and Ravine Poission bridges which have proven to be vulnerable to flooding.
“This project represents one of the most ambitious grant aid programs by the Government of Japan to the people of Saint Lucia. The area of adaptation to, and mitigation, against climate change has been the recent focus of Japanese grant aid in the Caribbean region. Today’s signing ceremony for the reconstruction of bridges in the Cul de Sac basin, marks the culmination of Japan’s efforts to assist Saint Lucia in strengthening its disaster preparedness and its resilience against climate change. I am glad to be a part of this initiative which aims to protect this beautiful island nation.”
Meantime Prime Minister Hon. Allen Chastanet, said climate change and its debilitating impact on the environment are a priority for his government. The Government of Saint Lucia will be allocating EC$8 million towards the project, of which the total cost is approximately EC $43.1 million.
“It’s very easy for us to continue to come to these signing agreements and take for granted what we are receiving, but this project has the ability to protect the lives and assets of many people. The importance of this project is that we intend to widen the Choc River from the Cul de Sac bridge all the way to the Ferrands Bridge; and we are actually creating a second tier river with banks along the sides.”
The project is expected to commence early in 2018, with completion earmarked for 2020.