At a recent meeting in Barbados, representatives from several Caribbean water ministries and organizations met to discuss development of a regional strategic plan for the water sector:
The plan will propose possible solutions for the challenges facing the industry in the Caribbean, and will be presented at the 8th World Water Forum to be held in Brasilia, Brazil in March.
The development of a strategic plan for the water sector in the Caribbean Region project is being supported by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA).
Despite several initiatives, many countries in the Region still struggle to provide potable water at an affordable rate, while covering operating costs. L. O’Reilly Lewis, Division Chief, Economic Infrastructure Department, CDB, said that some of the problems facing the water sector included issues posed by climate change, inadequate governance arrangements, and lack of financing and investment.
“Pipes and water treatment plants alone will not solve our water challenges. The problem is much deeper than failing infrastructure. Excessive water usage, inadequate management of water resources, weak policies and governance systems also contribute to unsustainable water supply service provision in the Caribbean. We, at the CDB, believe that the approach has to be a holistic one and there must be collaboration between the countries and amongst the various organisations” said Lewis.
Patricia Aquing, Executive Director, CWWA, said that the development of the strategic plan is a positive step for the Region.
“We have to be able to think ahead, and consider, how do we do this strategically? How do we go from fixing when your pipe goes down, or your sewer system erupts, to thinking ahead to how we manage this resource which we have,” said Aquing.
Read more in the CDB news release.
[Image: via Caribbean News Now]