Contract signed for Cat Island piped water

The Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC) signed a contract yesterday with Island Site Development (ISD) to begin the laying of 12 miles of pipes that will provide Cat Island homes and businesses with piped, potable water for the first time.

WSC Executive Chairman Adrian Gibson, who was on the island to carry out the signing, said the Cat Island water project will cost $3.1 million and will be completed in no more than 12 months.

The Cat Island project is part of a Bahamas-wide Caribbean Development Bank Water Supply Improvement Project, which is being funded by a $28.33 million loan from the bank, with counterpart funding of $13.3 million from the government of The Bahamas.

Gibson said the project will also comprise the construction of two reverse osmosis plants, one in Bennett’s Harbour and one in Doud’s.

“The construction of these plants will be executed under a separate contract,” said Gibson.

He said the areas to initially be supplied with water are the New Bight Settlement, proceeding south through the settlements of Doud’s and Moss Town and ending at the Old Bight Settlement.

“All residents of Cat Island currently obtain water from private wells, rainwater, standpipes or water tankered from public well fields, which are subject to changing weather patterns, drought or sea water infiltration, resulting in interrupted water supply and/or poor water quality, especially salty water,” said Gibson.

“It is also very expensive to put in these private systems and on the flip side, much more expensive to purchase tankered water. Access to water is a basic human right and we hope to ensure that for the people of Cat Island.”   

When the project is complete, there will be about 290 service connections, according to Gibson.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister, who was also on hand for the signing, said it has been his dream to ensure that “world-class infrastructure is available for all Bahamians”.

“We want to ensure every person in Cat Island has running water,” he said.

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr. Hubert Minnis, who brought remarks at the event, said his government is focused on the need for critical infrastructure for the Family Islands.

“Access to water is a fundamental right for human beings,” Minnis said.

He called on Gibson and Bannister to develop a strategic and financial plan to take piped, potable water to every home on Cat Island “within the shortest possible time”.

“This is a new beginning for the health and wealth of Cat Island,” said Minnis.

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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