The St. Kitts and Nevis government has committed to making significant investments in the Federation’s water sector by putting forward a number of plans to increase its resilience and sustainability.
The Honourable Konris Maynard, Minister of Public Infrastructure, Energy and Utilities, Domestic Transport, ICT, and Posts, made this announcement on Thursday, March 23 in New York, USA, during his delivery of his National Statement at the 3rd Plenary Meeting of the United Nations 2023 Water Conference.
According to Minister Maynard, “over the next five to ten 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.”
In order to strengthen institutional and technical capabilities, we will also invest in our employees.
The development of green building rules has already started, and we hope that they will lead to a paradigm shift in how our inhabitants and citizens use water.
Given its size, the Federation, according to Minister Maynard, is in a good position to benefit from international best practices.
St. Kitts and Nevis is “small enough” to take the necessary steps to be the best sustainable example the world has to offer, which is compatible with our objective to become a successful “Sustainable Little Island State.”
In light of this, St. Kitts and Nevis pledges to implement proactive and adaptive actions that will build capacity and resilience aggressively, in accordance with the principles of Integrated Water Resource Management, the Minister stated.
As we work to restore 24-hour availability to water by 2024, switch to 100 percent renewable energy sources by 2030 using solar, wind, and geothermal energy, and initially reduce our reliance on imported food by 25 percent by 2025, the water, energy, and food nexus is crucial for us.
If we can solve the energy problem, we can also address the water problem and the food problem!
The Affordable Smart Houses Program, which would make use of “sustainable construction approaches including the installation of solar panels, water cisterns, and water-conserving fixtures,” was launched by the government in early March.
Moreover, water storage tanks have already been converted into 69 schools, community centers, and health facilities.
In order to implement climate-smart water supply and distribution methods for potable water and for hundreds of farmers, we continue to collaborate closely with the Green Climate Fund and Global Environment Facility.
We are aware of the ambitious nature of our view,” he remarked. Yet, “we are certain that by utilizing multi-stakeholder collaborations, with the backing of an accessible and concessionary funding architecture that acknowledges our particular vulnerabilities, we will achieve!”