WHAT A RE­LIEF FOR BABONNEAU

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Af­ter years with­out a con­sis­tent sup­ply of clean drink­ing water, res­i­dents of Babonneau are fi­nally get­ting re­lief. On Thurs­day July 12 the Water and Sewage Com­pany Inc. of­fi­cially launched the Hill 20 ten-inch pipe and the up­grade of the Hill 20 treat­ment plant. More water is now be­ing pumped from the plant, to the de­light of res­i­dents in all ar­eas of Babonneau.

Work on the project be­gan last July at a cost of $1.7 million. Four con­trac­tors worked on the project: Ned Sa­muel, An­drew Simon, Roy Melius and Steve Eu­gene, all Babonneau res­i­dents. WASCO chair­man, Mr. Fran­cis Den­bow, said that com­ple­tion of this project is al­ready pro­vid­ing in­creased ca­pac­ity for the ma­jor com­mu­ni­ties. He took ob­vi­ous pride in declar­ing com­ple­tion of the un­der­tak­ing “with no cost over­runs”.

Den­bow thanked res­i­dents for their pa­tience and apol­o­gized for the hard­ships they had en­dured. A teacher at the La Guerre Pri­mary School for eight years was thank­ful. She said: “Of­ten our tanks would go dry and it would take maybe a whole day to get WASCO to give us some water.” That sit­u­a­tion, she said, caused prob­lems, as par­ents would of­ten for­get to give their chil­dren drink­ing water and teach­ers would end up hav­ing to buy it for them.

“This was the sit­u­a­tion un­til last week,” the teacher said. “From Thurs­day we've not had any prob­lems. In fact we had to close our tanks be­cause they were over­flow­ing!”

A man who has lived in Boguis for the last fifty years said: “Some­times we used to get water about once a month or ev­ery other week. Some­times two-three months we didn't get water here." He had no other choice but to col­lect water from an­other district. “But for nine days now we've had water non­stop

Present at Thurs­day's event was Babonneau MP Ezechiel Jospeh, also agri­cul­ture min­is­ter. He said he was happy that, de­spite some unavoid­able de­lays, the project was now op­er­a­tional. He gave his as­sur­ance that, as the min­is­ter with re­spon­si­bil­ity for WASCO, he was de­ter­mined to do all over the is­land what he had done for Babonneau. He cited projects “in the pipe­line”: the se­cond phase of the Den­nery-North water re­de­vel­op­ment project, at a cost of US$8.5 million; Bou­ton will re­ceive a 50 thou­sand gal­lon water stor­age tank and, in Vieux Fort, a water re­de­vel­op­ment project val­ued at ECS65 million will be­gin in the first quar­ter of 2019. ---- Joshua St. Aimee

L-R: WASCO chair­man Fran­cis Den­bow, Babonneau MP Ezechiel Joseph, WASCO GM, Ed­mund Regis at the cer­e­mo­nial open­ing, Thurs­day.

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