UK – CDB support development of climate change resilient water supply in Dominica

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UKaid – CDB joint

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has recently kicked off a project to make Dominica’s water supply resilient to climate change and tackle inequalities in the access to water. With support from the United Kingdom through CDB, a strategic plan, a feasibility study and detailed designs are under development to help the government of Dominica to improve the water infrastructure.

CDB has approved £2.1 million  for  the  project,  fully  funded  from  a  £25  million  grant  from  the United Kingdom, which will ultimately cover actual construction.

“The improved water infrastructure  will  be  important  for  Dominica’s  key  economic  sectors,  including agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism. The project findings will serve as a roadmap for medium to long-term interventions in the water sector in Dominica,” said Andrew Dupigny, head of infrastructure partnerships, CDB.

As  part  of  this  project,  designs  will  be  developed  to  improve  the  potable  water  system,  water treatment facilities, pumping stations, water storage reservoirs and transmission mains. This will facilitate the construction of more resilient infrastructure and reduce down-time. In addition, the capacity of the national utility, Dominica Water and Sewerage Company Limited (DOWASCO), will be strengthened to provide resilient water supply and sanitation.

Although Dominica is a water-rich country, hurricane Maria in September 2017 has shown that the reliability of the provision of potable water supply is under threat from extreme weather events, exacerbated through climate change. Strong winds, flooding, landslides, falling trees and power outage damaged 41 out of 43 water supply areas in the country, a third of them severely.

“In  response,  the  United  Kingdom  announced  additional  funds  of  £25  million  to  reconstruct  a  resilient and efficient water supply system in Dominica. The United Kingdom is proud to support the  Commonwealth  of  Dominica  on  its  quest  to  becoming  a  more  climate-resilient  nation  and  looks forward to seeing this important project progress,” said Nigel Kirby, team leader, United Kingdom  Caribbean  Infrastructure  Fund  (UKCIF),  Department  for  International Development (DFID).

The additional funds are part of the £330 million UKCIF, which provides grant funding to support improved livelihoods, poverty reduction  and  safer  conditions  for  the  people  in  nine  Caribbean countries and is administered by CDB.

The full study is expected to be completed by the end of 2020, but construction of priority works is projected to start before that time.

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