Labour gov’t actively working to combat water shortage

Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis – The Labour government, led by Prime Minister Dr. Terrance Drew, has intensified efforts to tackle the water scarcity issue gripping Saint Kitts and Nevis. The shortage has been attributed to decreased rainfall resulting from climate change.

In a bid to provide relief, shortly after its election the new government moved ahead with a well drilling project in Cayon which is now nearing completion.

Prime Minister Drew, speaking at a recent edition of The Rountable, lambasted the previous Dr. Timothy Harris led administration for abandoning the project and leaving machinery vital to its completion to deteriorate. Drew said the timely completion of the Cayon well project years ago would have significantly mitigated the country’s current water woes.

“The last administration abandoned the plan and the machinery just sat there and rotted because of bad political decisions. Had they continued the plan, we would have had drilled water many years ago and we would have been in a different situation”, Dr. Drew said.

Dr. Drew offered the public the assurance that the water has been tested and has met the World Health Organization’s (WHO) standard for potable water.

Adding another weapon to the water security arsenal, the government recently broke ground on a desalination plant near the coastal area of Canada Estate. This project, which is expected to be operational by mid 2024, will provide an estimated 60,000 gallons of fresh water per day. Again, Dr. Drew highlighted opportunities missed by the previous government to address the water shortage and he criticised their refusal of an offer by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to construct the desalination plant which will now be constructed.

“There was a UAE donation to St. Kitts and Nevis that was stopped by the last administration; a desalination plant to provide about 60,000 gallons of water per day. We had to get back into that agreement, and maybe about a few weeks ago we had the groundbreaking for the desalination plant,” the prime minister said.

While these initiatives aim to increase the water supply, Prime Minister Drew appealed to the public to continue conserving water. He expressed empathy for the challenges faced by residents struggling to access this essential resource.

To alleviate the water shortage in the meantime, the government is purchasing water from the Marriott resort’s desalination plant which is being used to supplement the Water Department’s supply to consumers until the long-term solutions come online.

To ensure no community is left behind, the government engaged water trucks that supply villages facing water shortages. These mobile deliveries are crucial in providing immediate access to this vital resource.

The government also distributed water storage tanks in areas most severely impacted. This provides immediate relief by allowing residents to collect and store water during available supply periods.

“I am not going to pretend that this is easy and I feel it for our people. That is why we acted so quickly and swiftly to bring solutions to this. We started aggressively and invested heavily to provide water for the people of St. Kitts and Nevis,” Dr. Drew said.

The Labour government’s focus on tackling water scarcity is a critical step toward ensuring the wellbeing of citizens and residents. With ongoing projects and a call for conservation, the island nation is striving toward a more secure water future.

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