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Water quality project tackles four communities

Water quality project tackles four communities

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Four communities here will each receive US$20,000 in a project aimed at protecting their watershed and coastal areas, with the ultimate objective of providing better quality, adequate and safer water.{{more}}

The Global Environmental Facility-Integrated Watershed and Coastal Areas Management Project (GEF-IWCAM) launched its Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) Community Pilot Projects on Wednesday, September 22, 2010, at the Cooperative Credit Union League Office at Lower Kingstown Park.

The communities to benefit from this project are Chateaubelair, Spring Village, Buccament/Vermont and Greiggs.

Cecil Ryan, Manager of Projects Promotion Limited, disclosed that a total of US$80,000 will be spent to implement the project, with each community receiving $20,000.

The communities which will engage in the project were represented at the launch. They used the opportunity to list their problems, as well as state their plans and the proposed benefits of the project.

No problem was unique to a particular community, for they all had similar situations. Every community representative said that their area is experiencing the problem of illegal dumping of garbage in rivers.

The community plans proposed the distribution of bins to households, river clean-ups, planting of trees to prevent erosion and educating persons about the proper disposal of garbage.

The groups also cited the need to secure the tourism sites in the areas, specifically the Gaurifuna Spring in Greiggs, the Vermont Nature Trail and the Buccament Bay project.

Also present at the launch were officials from the Forestry Division, Central Water and Sewage Authority (CWSA), the Public Health Department, the National Parks Authority and the Ministry of Rural Transformation.

Nathaniel Williams, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Rural Transformation, said that there is a global concern for environmental issues. He noted that since the Ministry of Rural Transformation was established in 2005, one of its pillars of economic growth is poverty alleviation. He stated that poverty alleviation encapsulates the construction, maintenance and refurbishment of all physical and social infrastructures within a community that pertains to the ‘betterment’ of community life.

“I am not looking so much at it as simply for tourism or any sort, that comes secondary. This first and foremost, is for the improvement of life of people in those communities,” Williams said.

Williams noted that the Ministry of Rural Transformation has put together a national plan that has already been approved and financed by the European Union (EU). This plan will be looking at transforming the way people think and the way things are done.

Communications, Networking and Information specialist for the GEF-IWCAM, Donna Spencer, said that the project serves 13 small island developing states in the Caribbean, where the same problems exist. Spencer further stated that there is need for public awareness. Commenting on the proposals from the community groups, she said that the provision of bins must be linked to public education. She also mentioned that there is an IWRM plan for St.Vincent that is specific for Union Island.

The GEF-IWCAM project, which started in 2006, will continue until July 2011, said Spencer.

She said it aims at assisting countries and helping them to adopt integrated approaches. She added that the IWCAM is trying to look at the range of activities that take place in a watershed, which continues down to the sea via the river.

Spencer disclosed that the organization is also interested in observing how those activities, mainly the land-based activities can be better managed, thus providing people with better quality, adequate and safer water.

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