Project launched to improve water supply in the Bahamas

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NASSAU, Bahamas, Feb 24, CMC – The Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is providing a US$20 million loan to the Bahamas government that has since launched a project aimed at  improving the water supply systems serving communities on New Providence and six Family Islands.
The CDB said the Water Supply Improvement Project loan includes an allocation of US$12.4 million in resources provided by the European Investment Bank to CDB under the Climate Action Line of Credit. The Bahamas government is contributing US$13.3 million towards the project.
“CDB has a very long history with the water sector in The Bahamas, stretching back to 1976, when we assisted with financing the facility at Morgan’s Bluff on Andros, for the transportation of water to New Providence.  This project represents our fourth intervention in the sector,” said Patricia McKenzie, Vice-President (Operations), during the project launch.
The Water Supply Improvement Project aims to renew and expand access to sustainable and safe water supplies for 3,400 households, providing new service to at least 1,800 households.  It will include the installation of more than 180 kilometres of new mains and the construction of new water storage tanks, pumping stations and well field infrastructure.
The CDB said the project will help address a number of water challenges which communities across The Bahamas, particularly within the Family Islands, face.
It said many households rely on water from private wells, tanker trucks and rainwater harvesting to meet most of their domestic needs. Some depend on bottled water for cooking and drinking. Deteriorating water supply mains on the Family Islands, due to age, inadequate depth of placement, and the use of inappropriate materials have contributed to a high level of non-revenue water across the Family Islands.
“This government remains committed to bringing about world class piped potable water to each and every Bahamian at the earliest possible opportunity.  We know that these improvements combined with other infrastructural improvements will spur greater economic development and an overall improvement in the quality of life for all of these communities in the medium term,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works & Urban Development Philip “Brave” Davis.
The water project will also include technical assistance to support the government in its efforts to avoid, adapt to and mitigate the negative impacts of climate variability and climate change on water.

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