Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 23, 2023 (SKNIS):The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis has pledged to invest heavily in the Federation’s water sector by implementing several initiatives to enhance its sustainability and resiliency.
This was announced by the Honourable Konris Maynard, Minister of Public Infrastructure, Energy and Utilities, Domestic Transport, ICT, and Posts, while delivering his National Statement at the 3rd Plenary Meeting of the United Nations 2023 Water Conference on Thursday, March 23 in New York, U.S.A.
“Over the next five (5) to 10 years, we will invest over EC$200 million in sustainable and resilient water infrastructure including drilling additional wells, investing in desalinated water, upgrading pipelines, improving storage reservoirs, and introducing modern technology to optimize the use of our resources,” said Minister Maynard. “We will also invest in our people to increase institutional and technical capacity. Work has already begun to develop green building codes which we hope will spark a paradigm shift in the way our citizens and residents utilize water.”
Minister Maynard said that given its size, the Federation is well-positioned to capitalize on global best practices.
“St. Kitts and Nevis is ‘small enough’ to do what we must, to be the best example of sustainability that the world has to offer, which is consistent with our vision to create a model ‘Sustainable Small Island State.’ Therefore, St. Kitts and Nevis commits to aggressively implementing pro-active and adaptive measures that will build capacity and resilience, guided by the principles of Integrated Water Resource Management,” said the Minister. “Important for us is the water-energy-food nexus as we strive to return to 24-hour access to water by 2024, transition to 100 percent renewable energy sources by 2030 using solar, wind, and geothermal energy, and reduction of our food import bill by 25 percent by 2025, in the first instance. If we solve energy, then with energy, we solve water, and with water, we solve food!”
In early March, the Government announced the Affordable Smart Homes Initiative that will utilize “sustainable construction practices including the installation of solar panels, water cisterns, and water-conserving fixtures.” Additionally, sixty-nine schools, community centers, and health centers have already been retrofitted with water storage tanks.
“We continue to work closely with the Green Climate Fund and Global Environment Facility to introduce climate-smart water supply and distribution mechanisms for potable water and for hundreds of farmers. We recognize that our outlook is ambitious,” he said. “However, we are confident that by leveraging multi-stakeholder partnerships, with the support of an accessible and concessionary financing architecture that considers our unique vulnerabilities, we will succeed!”