Union Island gets boost in water storage capacity
May 3, 2013

Union Island gets boost in water storage capacity

by Stanton Gomes Fri May 3, 2013

One hundred 1,000-gallon water storage tanks were recently distributed to residents of Union Island, free of charge, by the Union Island Environmental Attackers (UIEA) with its project partner Sustainable Grenadines Inc.{{more}}

With an annual rainfall of approximately 1,000 mm and limited geographic influences which would generate precipitation, fresh water is a precious commodity on Union Island. There is also the challenge of inadequate storage capacity to maintain the required water supply, especially during prolonged drought conditions caused by climate change. On Union Island, water is usually collected from rainfall and stored in concrete or plastic tanks and public reservoirs.

After seeing the water needs on the island, president of the UIEA Katrina Collins came up with a project concept and applied to the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) for a grant under its “Canada Caribbean Disaster Risk Management Fund” to the tune of over $200,000.

The project was launched in September 2012, under the theme “Increasing Water Storage Capacity on Union Island: Adapting to the Effects of Drought”. Monthly community meetings and workshops were held during the project phases. There were representatives from the CWSA who gave water sanitary and conservation lectures. Residents on Union Island who have damaged or leaking tanks and those households which do not have water tanks were the first to benefit from this project.

The tanks arrived from Trinidad and Tobago by boat and residents were all excited that this project was a reality and they would finally be able to gear up for the upcoming rainy season. One of the beneficiaries of the project, Egbert Adams, stated that he was glad to see this project come off and less fortunate persons were able to benefit.

“It certainly adds more water storage to my home and I am hoping that another project like this is done, so that more persons on the island can benefit,” he said.

Collins stated that “This project is about improving the lives of the people on Union Island and its environment, by providing an adequate water storage facility for clean water supply.

“We have successfully completed the project, which entailed a lot of work’ but the reward is seeing people’s lives enhanced; the water storage of the island is now up by 100, 000 gallons,” Collins said.

The UIEA is engaged in many environmental friendly initiatives. Recently they distributed reusable canvas shopping bags to residents so that the use of plastic bags could be minimized. They also have an existing Leather Back Turtle Monitoring programme on the island.