STATEMENT BY MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS AND WORKS
HONOURABLE MARK VANTERPOOL
AT PRESS CONFERENCE FOR THE PUBLIC LAUNCH OF THE
CDB HYDROLOGY STUDY AND
FLOOD RISK REDUCTION OF THE ROAD TOWN CATCHMENT
THURSDAY, MAY 4, 2016
FULL SUPPORT BEHIND ROAD TOWN HYDROLOGY STUDY
On behalf of the Government of the Virgin Islands, I welcome you here today, as we launch this Hydrology Study, to assess the Territory’s vulnerability to the risks associated with flooding.
The Territory of the Virgin Islands is in the Hurricane Belt, which means that every year, we are likely to experience hazardous weather conditions, that very often cause damage to our infrastructure.
In October 2010, during Tropical Storm Otto, several of our islands suffered extensive damage to roads, drainage and retaining walls.
The Government of the Virgin Islands is grateful for the support of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), which provided a $15.67 million loan, to assist with the rehabilitation and reconstruction works. I am pleased to say, that we are now nearing completion of these works across the islands.
As part of the Agreement with CDB, there was a Technical Assistance component, where experts would assess the drainage system within major associated ghuts, with a view to mitigating further damage.
The Capital - Road Town, the commercial hub of the Virgin Islands, was particularly affected by the storm water flooding, causing significant damage and disruption of economic activity. A study of the Road Town Catchment, is intended to be a model, to treat drainage problems more systematically and comprehensively.
As part of this Hydrology Study, Consultants – Amec Foster Wheeler Environment and Infrastructure Limited – will examine the factors which made our watersheds, natural channels and drainage systems vulnerable and recommend ways to prevent further compromise to our infrastructure.
Our Government looks forward to the completion of this study, as its implementation will help to reduce loss of livelihood and property and environmental damage.
It is important to note, ladies and gentlemen, that this Hydrology Study, will be done in consultation with residents of the Virgin Islands.
Consultants will conduct stakeholder meetings at the beginning, during and at the end of the project, to get feedback from you, the public and private sector, non-governmental and community organizations. I encourage everyone to get involved, as we work together to develop resilient communities in The Virgin Islands.
Our Government extends its full support to the Consultants. The Ministry of Communications and Works will provide expertise from the Public Works Department, with support from the Department of Disaster Management, Town and Country Planning Department, Survey Department, Ministry of Finance, the Social Development Department and the Conservation and Fisheries Department.
The Hydrology Study is expected to be completed within ten (10) months, at a contract value of $499,340.00.
Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for your continued support of the work of your Government.