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Union Vale Water Project up and running

Union Vale Water  Project up and running

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The availability of potable water has always been an issue facing residents in the Grenadines, especially during the dry season.{{more}} Residents of the northern Grenadine Island of Bequia can now benefit from an alternative source of water besides their water tanks.

On February 10, 2012, the water plant at Union Vale was officially opened to the public.

Speaking to the small gathering at the opening ceremony, Herman Belmar, Deputy Director of Grenadines Affairs, the relentless warrior behind this project, described the completion of the water project as “a marriage between the private sector, local and foreign based NGO’s, Government and the Grass-roots people of Bequia.”

A union which in his view produced a sustainable water supply that is now available to the public at a minimal cost. He thanked the Grenadines Partnership Funds (P.D.F) of the U.S.A for their donation of just over EC $172,000 and the in kind contribution of Northern Grenadines Community Development Inc (N.G.C.D.I.) of approximately EC $60,000 for making this gift available to the people of Bequia.

He explained that the project was conceived when Richard Molten, the Executive Director of Grenadines Partnership Funds (GPF), visited the island of Bequia on a quest to assist with community development. Owing to the serious drought which occurred in 2010 on the Grenadine island, the concern about water security was expressed by Belmar and followed up with a series of discussions with Molten of the North American organization and other members of Northern Grenadines Community Development Inc (NGCDI).

With funding from the European Union (EU), a well was bored and sunk to a depth of approximately 148 feet in Union Vale. This well is on a government reserve, and is very accessible from the public road. The NGCDI sought the permission of relevant authorities to construct a storage reserve on the property. Water is pumped from the deep well to the storage tanks which have a capacity to store over 20,000 gallons of water. This tank, which is placed strategically on a hillside, allows the water to flow down via gravity to a distribution hut next to the road, where containers and delivery trucks can be filled. Ongoing testing of the water is being conducted by the Central Water and Sewage Authority (CWSA). The water was proven to be of a good quality. This system can accommodate small units through a 1” pipe, and large containers and trucks through a one and a half inch pipe.

A representative from the GPF also spoke at the opening ceremony and was very impressed at the completion of the project and is looking forward to working with NGCDI in the near future. Remarks were also made by a representative from the Ministry of Health, Danville Toney, Irene Doughty from the CWSA and Richard Roxburgh of Action Bequia.

It is the ultimate goal of the NGCDI to obtain a tanker truck, so that water can be delivered to the most vulnerable areas of the communities. Residents of Bequia can now be at rest in the dry season, knowing that there is an alternative source for obtaining potable water at the Union Vale facility.

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