Staff of WSD lay a pipe while Prime Minister Harris (purple shirt), Dennison Paul (pointing) and Minister responsible for Water, Ian Patches Liburd (beige shirt) look on.

“Conserve water by being careful with its use and avoid the abuse of water at a time when there is a shortage,” Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, the Honourable Dr. Timothy Harris, urged on Tuesday during ground-breaking ceremonies for the Mansion, Phillips, Molineux Water Supply Improvement Project in Basseterre. He outlined the importance of rectifying the water shortage and increasing the availability of water.

“We have provided over $600,000 to the Water Department to ensure that within a matter of weeks or a few months, the water situation, as it impacts the people of Phillips, Molineux and Bourryeau will be significantly improved,” Prime Minister Harris explained. “It is an expenditure that the government is prepared to make because we will never count the dollars while lives are being inconvenienced.

The water situation in Mansion, Phillips, Molineux and Lodge was peculiar, according to T. Dennison Paul, Water Services Department (WSD) acting manager/water engineer. He explained that unlike the other communities in the Federation, the only water available was from surface water (river or spring) sources.

Paul described this as having “no redundancy” and explained that this made the area more vulnerable in the sense that there was no alternative source of water during droughts, as was also the case in the other communities of St. Kitts. Hence the importance of water supply improvements to the area.

“We are now running 800 feet of four-inch in diameter ductile iron pipe, all the way to Phillips,” Paul said.  “When that water gets to Phillips, it will supply Phillips Village, Molineux, Bourryeau and Mansion. The other aspects of this project include chlorination.  We have to chlorinate that water supply to improve its quality to protect human health. We will also install a generator so that in the event of an electricity outage we have standby generation, so that the people in the community do not suffer.”

The WSD water engineer revealed the project includes an automatic level control system. This will cause the pump to close off once the tank at Phillips becomes full.

Citing St. Peter’s as an example, Prime Minister Harris noted that each particular water situation in other communities will be addressed.

“Those persons at Lodge, particularly those in the region above the school, must remain assured that just as we have moved here to bring relief, relief is intended to come to those people on the upper slope of Lodge; equally those in the upper St. Peter’s region,” Prime Minister Harris said.  “Indeed, all residents in high elevations become vulnerable when there is a water shortage.  We want to offer our regrets for the inconvenience but to say to you and assure you that help is on its way.”

Paul revealed another $300,000 has been provided by the government to increase the overall supply of water. He noted two wells are being drilled north of the Robert L. Bradshaw (RLB) International Airport by Ocean Earth Technologies (OET) that would provide an additional one million gallons of water per day.

Florida, U.S.-based OET, provides hydrogeology, marine science, geotechnical investigations and geophysical mapping.  The company’s previous association with the Federation was in 2009, when it conducted a hydro-geological survey and provided a report which gave a basis for the completion of the Water Resource Management Plan and Park Management Plan for the Royal Basseterre Valley National Park.