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BELMOPAN: May 8, 2019: A five-year multi-million dollar water improvement project that is expected to ease the chronic water woes of more than 190,000 Barbadians will be launched on Friday, May 10, 2019, at the Bowmanston Pumping Station, in St. John, Barbados.
The Water Sector Resilience Nexus for Sustainability in Barbados (WSRN S-Barbados) is a $45.2-million investment project that is being implemented by the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) in collaboration with the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Government of Barbados and the Barbados Water Authority (BWA). Funding includes US$27.6 million in grants from the GCF and counterpart funding of US$17.6 from the Barbadian government.
The WSRN S-Barbados project is the GCF’s first single-country investment in the Caribbean. When complete, it should improve access to potable water, increase the Barbados water sector’s resilience to extreme climatic events; reduce water disruptions, introduce adaptation and mitigation initiatives through a revolving fund; improve resilience to climate change while building capacity and increasing public-private-partnerships and innovation for climate resilience in the sector.
“The Centre is proud to be working with the government and people of Barbados on such an important project,” Dr Kenrick Leslie, Executive Director of the CCCCC said, noting:
“The measures to be undertaken under this project is expected to increase adaptation and mitigation measures in households and communities; improve the country’s food security by increasing the farmers’ access to water; reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and improve the awareness of ordinary Barbadians to the effects of climate variability affecting the country and the wider Caribbean.”
Under the project, photovoltaic (PV) power generation systems are to be installed at the Belle, the Bowmanston and Hampton Pumping Stations to reduce the dependency of the facilities on diesel-generated electricity. Leaks are to be minimised through mains replacement and real-time monitoring. To ensure that any disruptions in the water supply would not immediately result in the loss of potable water to vulnerable sections of the population, water storage tanks and rainwater harvesting systems are to be set up in strategic locations across the island.
The Project also includes a Revolving Adaptation Fund Facility (RAFF) to assist households, farmers and small businesses by supporting a number of climate change adaptation and mitigation initiatives in the water sector.
The Fund aims to support the installation of water irrigation and rainwater harvesting systems as well as water saving devices in households, public buildings, hotels and in agriculture operations. The RAFF will continue to build sustainability, advance adaptation and mitigation initiatives in the island’s water sector after the project ends.
General Manager of the BWA Mr. Keithroy Halliday noted: “WSRN S-Barbados project will reduce the BWA’s carbon footprint, create a more reliable water supply and increase capacity building in the Authority. It will have a positive impact by creating resilience to severe weather events, promoting public awareness on climate change effects threatening the water supply system and highlighting ways to mitigate against it as well as improving the sustainability of the water supply system. These initiatives collectively, are expected to assist the Government of Barbados in meeting its target of carbon neutrality by 2030.”
Project partners include the United States Agency for International Development Climate Change Adaptation Project (USAID-CCAP), the University of the West Indies (UWI), University of South Florida (USF), Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the European Investment Bank (EIB).
The CCCCC has received more than US$38.54 million in GCF grants for the implementation of Climate Change and readiness projects in several countries. These include the implementation of the WSRN S-Barbados Project, a project preparation grant for the Arundo donax Renewable Energy Project in Belize, and Country Readiness grants for Belize, Bahamas, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
The CCCCC is a GCF direct-access Accredited Entity based in Belize and is the arm of CARICOM (Caribbean Community) that has responsibility for leading climate change actions in the Caribbean. As an Accredited Entity (AE), the CCCCC is positioned to assist government departments and agencies as well as private sector agencies in the Caribbean to access GCF funding for climate adaptation and mitigation project grants of up to US$50 Million per project. The Centre is also prepared to partner with other regional institutions to increase the region’s access to GCF and other donor funding.
The GCF is a global fund created to support the efforts of developing countries to respond to the challenges of climate change through a network of National Designated Authorities (NDAs) and Accredited Entities.
A team from the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre led by Executive Director Dr Kenrick Leslie was present yesterday for the official opening of the Marchand Community Centre, a climate-smart facility near Castries, Saint Lucia. The Marchand Community Centre was renovated and retrofitted as a pilot adaptation project under the Special Programme on Adaptation to Climate Change ( SPACC): Implementation of Adaptation Measures in Coastal Zones Project— a multi component initiative executed by the Centre with co-financing from the Global Environment Fund (GEF) through the World Bank and the Government of Saint Lucia.
Other participating countries included Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and The Commonwealth of Dominica.
The community centre was renovated and retrofitted to demonstrate the design and implementation of appropriate interventions to reinforce critical infrastructure that can withstand the effects of intensified wind speeds from category three and above hurricanes. Dr Leslie told the gathering of community members, government officials and media that the US$300, 000 facility, 60% of which was financed through the Centre, incorporates new wind speed engineering design and is an energy efficiency success story. He noted that the facility features a US$36, 000 photovoltaic (PV) component funded by the 5Cs, Government of Saint Lucia and Caribbean Renewable Energy Development Programme (CREDP) that will ensure the provision of power during outages, which will prove essential in the event of a storm.
Reinforced critical infrastructure such as the Marchand Community Centre, a multipurpose facility slated to also function as a hurricane shelter, is a key part of efforts to make the Caribbean more climate resilient, especially as scientists predict an average of three to four Category 4 and 5 hurricanes per year by 2025 in the Atlantic Basin.
This successful pilot project has already yielded significant systemic changes that will benefit Saint Lucia and the wider region. These changes include:
Incorporation of the Marchand Community Centre into Saint Lucia’s National Emergency Management Plan (NEMP)-Cabinet Conclusion 1159/2009 of September 24, 2009
Incorporation of design wind speed standards into Saint Lucia’s Development Control Authority (DCA) process for commercial and public buildings
Incorporation of improved engineering standards into Saint Lucia’s Building Codes
Strengthening of the Caribbean Unified Building Code
Training, promulgation of standards
The multipurpose facility will be used for a myriad of activities, including:
National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) storage facility (One section of the ground floor)
Weekly Feeding Programme (One section of the ground floor)
Daily Boxing Programme (Top floor)
Meetings/community events (Top floor)
Shelter during natural disasters, including mudslides (for example the Black Mallet community) and hurricanes (First floor)
Improvements made to the Marchand Community Centre
- Redesign and replace of roof
- Hurricane strapped roof structure
- Natural ventilation via dormers
- Impact resistant windows
- Energy-efficient lighting and appliance
- Generation of electricity using photovoltaic (PV) technology, including battery backup
- Strengthened stairways
- Balcony (sustainability) facing field
- Water storage
- Potable water - Rainwater harvesting
- Water conservation, through the use of low-flush toilets, basins etc.