Wednesday, 9 July 2014


Every person in this region should have access to water and sanitation.

Stressing that this was imperative, Vice President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Operations Division, Nigel Romano, stressed that effective water management must therefore be a top development priority.

Some of the officials in attendance at the workshop on Tuesday.
It is for this reason that several technical specialists from regional organisations and regulatory agencies gathered for a two-day Regional Sector Assessment Workshop to discuss the findings of a study commissioned by the CDB in 2012 on the state of water in the Caribbean.

Addressing the official opening of that workshop at the CDB on Tuesday, Romano highlighted that over the past four decades, there has been a decline in freshwater availability, in some cases by as high as 50 per cent, while water losses from theft, leakage, and other situations ranged from 17 to 66 per cent in CDB’s Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs).

In addition, he outlined that between 70 to 100 per cent of people in the region were not connected to a centralised sewerage system; less than 90 per cent of the people in four BMCs have access to pipe water; and in 10 water utilities, operational costs exceed operational service revenues.

“All of the key regional development challenges, including energy generation and usage; food security; natural disaster management; and the preservation of the environment, are closely linked to effective water management. Therefore, CDB has a vested interest in the water and sanitation sector because it is key to the achievement of our development mandate,” he added.

Therefore, he noted that water managers must lead the charge to find new and innovative approaches to address the challenges facing the sector.

“Primary among these challenges are inadequate tariff structures; inadequate financing for capital works; inefficient water supply networks; inadequate access in rural communities; inadequate management systems for collecting, treating and safely disposing of waste water; weak data management capability for water resource management; high and increasing per capita usage coupled with a decline in resource availability; and a shortage of capacity in the region, especially in the areas of planning and preparing for the increased risks associated with climate change,” he said. (JMB)

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