RESDP Completes Second Round Of Community Consultations

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The Project Implementation Unit (PIU) of the Renewable Energy Sector Development Project (RESDP)of the Department of Infrastructure, Ports and Transport held a second round of community consultations in Saltibus, Fond St. Jacques, Belle Plaine and Castries from January 10th to February 7, 2024. The consultations brought together project affected parties, community members, local leaders and representatives from the World Bank and the Exploration Management Company to discuss the project’s goals, receive a progress update, present next steps and address public concerns.

The consultations brought together affected parties, local leaders and WB representatives.

This round of consultations also included institutional stakeholder meetings in Castries and Soufriere which brought together representatives from relevant government and private sector institutions as well as members of the media.

As done in previous consultations, the staff of the PIU shared information on topics such as: environmental and financial implications of the project, legal and regulatory reform, impact on land owners and land usage, an update on project activities since the last round of consultations and the substantial mitigation measures being put in place to safeguard the community from any adverse effects from the exploratory drilling.

Of significant interest was information on the project’s capacity building endeavors which includes a scholarship and apprenticeship programme for young women and the potential employment opportunities for community members.

Each consultation ended with an engaging Q&A session, where community members voiced their concerns, asked thought-provoking questions, and sought clarification on various aspects of the project. Participants were able to receive feedback on questions about the safety of the exploratory drilling, the need for geothermal energy and the concerns surrounding land use and potential environmental pollution.

The RESDP sees these consultations as imperative to the success of this project.

“Community engagement and endorsement is important to us because we recognize that it is only through collaborative effort that we will achieve success,” says Ken Aldonza, Project Manager at the PIU, “We will continue to work with the communities to ensure that they feel heard and that any concerns are immediately addressed. This project is of national significance, so it is important that everyone feels a part of it.”

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