Come March 2013 residents of the communities of Bense, Hampstead and Anse De Mai are set to benefit from a new and improved water supply system.
A groundbreaking and contract-signing ceremony on Monday July 09, 2012 marked the commencement of the water supply project to which the Government of Dominica has committed 2.9 million dollars.
Prime Minister Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit told the signing ceremony that his government identified this project as a priority. He said notwithstanding economic challenges, his government was able to source the finances to fund such an important project.
“Every demand that is placed on the government requires resources to implement it, nothing is free. In a time when the entire world has been grappling with an economic and financial crisis we have been able with the help of God to mobilize the resources not only for this project but for the number of other projects that are ongoing in this country.”
The 3.6 million dollar Bense water project will involve the construction of a new intake and treatment facility along the Hampstead River along with a storage tank and associated pipe works.
General Manager of DOWASCO, Bernard Ettinoffe said his company has been aware of the problems which residents of the communities have been experiencing and in 2008 DOWASCO with one million dollars from Government, undertook the first phase of the development of the Bense water system which included pipeline replacement.
Ettinoffe says this, however, fell short as it failed to address all the critical issues in the forty-year old water system. Ettinoffe is confident that this new project will seek to address the shortcomings of the water supply.
“This phase of the project therefore seeks to address the issues of inadequacy of water at the intake by the construction of a new intake on the Hampstead River. It also provides for a new forty five thousand gallon storage tank to complement the existing twelve thousand gallon tank, which will take the storage capacity in the community to fifty-seven thousand gallons.”
Ettinoffe confirmed that the project will also seek to provide new supply and distribution lines from the intake to the storage tank and from the storage tank to existing distribution.
“It further provides for the construction of an access road to facilitate construction of the intake, maintenance of the intake and construction and maintenance of the new pipelines.”
He said “the new Bense water supply project is expected to be constructed during a nine month period.”
Minister responsible for Water Resource Management, Hon. Reginald Austrie says this new water supply project is in keeping with Government’s goal of providing quality reliable water to communities across Dominica.
“Our emphasis is on quality water, not just water and so we are spending the extra half a million dollars to ensure that the people of Bense like everyone else receives top quality water. “
The Minister noted that it’s the intention of Government to provide all Dominicans with access to top quality potable water by the year 2015.
“We are now at ninety-five percent and we are hoping between next year and 2014 we would have met that 100%.”
Meantime, Parliamentary Representative for the Paix Bouche Constituency, Hon. Matthew Walter said the new water supply will “eliminate some of the burdens and inconveniences experienced over the years due to a lack of sufficient water supply for domestic use.”
“Most of you met me and lamented over the inadequacy of water in Bense, Anse De Mai, Ansoldat. The Government was never hesitant to implement this very important project because we all understand the value of water,” he added.