Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis – In a significant move to address the ongoing water crisis affecting parts of Saint Kitts and Nevis, the Government has initiated the distribution of water storage tanks to areas most severely impacted by drought. The announcement was made by Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew during his recent press event, ‘The Roundtable,’ held on October 5th, 2023.
With a keen focus on improving the lives of citizens and ensuring access to a vital resource, the Government is actively taking measures to mitigate the challenges posed by water scarcity.
Prime Minister Drew emphasized that water storage tank distribution efforts are primarily aimed at aiding the economically and financially constrained residents of the “hardest-hit” areas, particularly in Cayon and St. Peters.
Prime Minister Drew stated, ” We estimated for those persons who need it most. Economically and financially, they have been constrained at this time and so the Government has gone ahead to introduce a project to address these needs. So, it is really for those who are hardest hit, which are certain parts in Cayon and St. Peters.”
In a related development, Prime Minister Drew provided an update on the discovery of a substantial underground water well in the Cayon area. While preliminary tests indicate the water is potable, a thorough 72-hour constant rate pumping test is pending to ensure its suitability for broader usage.
“Right now in Cayon we have discovered the largest well of underground water ever in Saint Kitts and Nevis. We have tested it initially, very potable, good water. We have to do what you call the 72-hour test, where you have the pipes down and you let the water run and you keep testing it. You don’t want to just take water from let’s say one area and that water is good but the water coming from another area may not be good”, Prime Minister Drew announced. ” The well is about 700,000 to 1 million gallons per day which is a significant amount of water. It will eliminate all of the water shortages in Cayon, Keys, and the environs.”
The Prime Minister further highlighted that the Basseterre area would also experience relief from water issues as water previously sourced from the Basseterre Valley aquifer would be redirected to serve Basseterre and St. Peters.
Prime Minister Drew added, “The water that used to come from the Basseterre Valley aquifer that supplies this area over here (Frigate Bay area) will no longer be used so that water can now be diverted back to Basseterre, St. Peters, and so forth.”
In addition to this modification, a 2-million-gallon desalination plant will be constructed in the upcoming year Dr Drew added.
As part of the government’s comprehensive strategy, the Bedrock Exploration Development Technologies (BEAD) St. Kitts Ltd will continue drilling efforts across the island in search of additional potable water sources. This initiative includes the installation of additional water storage tanks to efficiently store excess water once discovered.
Prime Minister Drew reaffirmed the administration’s commitment to eliminate the water crisis and address the challenges posed by climate change. He also noted that previous administrations had “dropped the ball” to rectify the water issues facing the nation.
“Water is something you don’t play with. Everybody needs water. After air, the most vital thing to the human body is water, air then water then food, in that order. People understand that water is a basic need, and we need to get it done. The administration dropped the ball. And so, we have only been in here for a year and we have responded with desalination, drilling, and water tanks. Those things could have been done between 2015 and 2017 with the then administration and resolve the water problem.”
The Government of Saint Kitts and Nevis remains steadfast in its commitment to providing access to clean and reliable water sources for all citizens, acknowledging the critical importance of water as a fundamental human right.