Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 20, 2022 (SKNIS): The Budget allocation to manage water resources in St. Kitts has increased dramatically as the government tackles water shortages resulting from the negative impacts of climate change.
During the Budget Debate on December 19, 2022, Minister with responsibility for water, the Honourable Konris Maynard, said that there is a 260 percent increase in the budget for 2023 over the number budgeted for the fiscal year of 2022 by the previous administration. He remarked that the then government, which faced a similar water crisis last year was negligent in meeting the challenges of water scarcity that has gripped St. Kitts and Nevis, and the Caribbean over recent years.
“In 2021, the Budget estimate for water supply and management was $9.5 million – that’s 2021. In 2022, the Budget allocation for water was reduced by nearly 10 percent to $8.7 million. This was in the face of a water crisis,” Honourable Maynard told the Federal Parliament. “However, Madam Deputy Speaker, under this Government, we have increased the Budget allocation for water … by a whopping 260 percent.”
“Under this new day, under this better way, the Budget allocation is now $22.7 million. That is a $14 million increase in water alone. We will solve the water problem,” Minister Maynard emphasized.
Currently, the Water Services Department is repairing faulty pumps and pipes to address the water crises. Additionally, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis and the St. Kitts Marriott Resort are finalizing an agreement for the supply of up to 300,000 gallons of water per day to the Frigate Bay area by February 2023.
Drilling new water wells and constructing two solar-powered desalination plants are a part of the medium to long-term strategy to enhance water security.