NEW BIGHT, BAHAMAS — A contract was signed yesterday between the Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC) and Island Site Development Co for the provision of the initial stages of piped potable water on Cat Island — a first in the island’s history.
According to WSC Executive Chairman Adrian Gibson, WSC is executing a Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Water Supply Improvement Project funded by a $28.33 million from the bank and $13.3 million in counterpart funding from the government of The Bahamas.
A statement on the project noted it includes two projects on New Providence and projects on six different Family Islands, including Cat Island, with the proposed works on Cat Island to be undertaken as two lots and to incorporate approximately 12 miles of pipe installation.
The areas to be supplied with water mains and potable water for the first time include the Wilson Bay and Bennett’s Harbour settlements, and New Bight proceeding south through the settlements of Douds and Moss Town, ending at Old Bight settlement.
The value of this phase of works is $3.1 million, and completion of works is not expected to exceed 12 months, according to Gibson.
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr Hubert Minnis, who was on hand during the contract signing ceremony, hailed the project as “a celebration for the people of Cat Island”.
He said he has challenged the government and WSC to “immediately start the process of developing a strategic plan, including a financing plan, for the installation of piped potable water to every home in Cat Island within the shortest possible period”, the statement noted.
Minnis said: “We must set a national goal to complete the delivery of this most essential service to all of our residents throughout the Family of Islands, which are is critical for the economic development and growth of our Bahamas.”
He added: “Your government is cognizant that without these basic utilities, there can be no sustainable growth and development in our Family Islands… Every Bahamian and every part of The Bahamas deserves, by right, access to the same opportunities, services and infrastructure.”
The prime minister stated that the government will announce a timeline and date for the completion of the provision of piped water to all communities throughout The Bahamas, and that it will “continue to bolster health facilities and education, including, in this internet age, access to telemedicine and online education”.