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Government moves to ensure sustainability of water resource

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Contact: John Emmanuel

Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - A three-prong approach is being employed by the Government of Saint Lucia to ensure the sustainability of the island’s water resources for future generations. This was revealed by Minister with responsibility for Public Utilities, Honourable Felix Finisterre as the international community prepares to observe World Water Day on March 22nd, 2003.

Speaking ahead of the occasion Minister Finisterre, who is attending the Third-World Water Forum in Kyoto, Japan, indicated that the approach would focus on individuals, communities and the nation as a whole. Saint Lucia he stated had made much progress over the years in delivering potable water to scores of deprived communities, although he was quick to point out that much more still needs to be done to protect and secure water as a natural resource.

According to him, Saint Lucia must however be guarded when exalting it successes in the provision of services which are dependent on a non-renewable natural resource. “Those of us who are old enough could attest to the very many rivers and streams which have dried up as a result of human activity,” he said.

He went on to explain that, “the forest canopy, which is the watershed, has been reduced to a minute fraction of what it once was. It is rather unfortunate that we tend to focus on the provision of water service, while very often remaining oblivious to the state of our natural resource base.”

Government, he noted, remains committed to providing the public with a sustainable, affordable and good quality supply of water. That much he observed was indicative through numerous government interventions by means of the Poverty Reduction Fund (PRF), the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) and other multi-million dollars investments in water distribution and storage infrastructure.

The theme for this year’s observance of World Water Day is “Water for the Future.” Minister Finisterre will deliver a statement on the observance in coming days.

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