By MERRICK ANDREWS, Staff Reporter
(St. Lucia News Online) — Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has provided an update on three major water projects which he said will boost Saint Lucia’s water distribution security.
As he had reported in his Budget Address, Chastanet said the John Compton Dam Water Project, the Dennery North, and Vieux Fort North projects will continue this financial year to achieve water security in Saint Lucia.
“The main objectives of these projects are to increase Saint Lucia’s capacity for the safe collection, storage, and distribution of water,” Chastanet wrote on his official Facebook page on Thursday, July 2.
The John Compton Dam Project
To reduce land erosion and siltation of the John Compton Dam, Chastanet said this project focuses on reforestation and the stabilization of 60 hectares of land in one year and 98 hectares in the second year.
“In terms of the desilting of the Dam, the construction of the disposal pit to take the silt from the dam has been completed and the long-awaited desilting operations will be completed in this financial year. Under this project, the approximately 1.7 million cubic meters of silt, which has settled in the dam and which reduced its capacity by more than 50 percent, will be removed. This would unblock the lower part of the Dam, allowing it to discharge a higher volume of raw water for processing,” he explained.
Dennery North project
The prime minister said the Dennery North project aims to improve water quantity, quality, and reliability to residents and consumers whilst enhancing the sustainability of the potable water system.
Phase one of the project was completed in February 2018 while phase two started in January this year, Chastanet reported.
Phase two, he said, “comprises the expansion of the water treatment plant from 0.4 million gallons per day to 1.4 million gallons per day. This increase will make a huge difference in the quality of life of the people of Dennery and environs”.
Vieux Fort project
“The residents of Vieux Fort are also set to receive an improved water supply as the Vieux Fort North Water Supply Project seeks to provide a reliable and sustainable supply of potable water,” Chastanet said.
This project comprises the construction of two river intake structures, two treatment plants — one at Grace and the other at Beausejour in Vieux Fort — installation of transmission mains, four pumping stations, and three storage tanks, the prime minister said.
“It is also anticipated that this major upgrade in the water infrastructure will also provide the water needed to support the development and expansion which this government is undertaking in the south of the island. The first phase commenced in January of this year with the majority of activities concentrated on the Grace system and some minor works on the Beausejour system,” he explained.
“In the next phase scheduled to commence in September major works on the Beausejour system will occur. The project is being funded by the Caribbean Development Bank and will be completed within 24 months.
“Following the completion of both phases of the project, the Grace Water System is expected to supply 2.4 million gallons per day, while the Beausejour Water System will supply 1.6 million gallons per day,” he added.
Among the other investments by the Government of Saint Lucia in the water sector is a A “Watershed Management Plan” and the “construction of an administrative centre for WASCO in Vieux Fort” are among other investments the government plans to undertake in the water sector, Chastanet said.
“Due to the impact of climate change, these interventions are absolutely necessary. Our government is also investigating the possibility of establishing desalination plants at strategic locations on the island,” he concluded in his Facebook post.