Water and power shortages experienced by thousands of people living on St Kitts & Nevisin the West Indiesare set to be tackled by Sutton, UK-based international development company Crown Agents in a project backed by ECGD.

About 36,000 people who live on the islandof St Kittssuffer from water shortages. The island’s daily shortfall for this year is forecast to run to 2mn gallons per day. In addition, the ageing power network cannot cope with demand at peak times.

Crown Agents will oversee the installation of wells, piping and storage facilities to make better use of ground water supplies, and will also replace the outdated 11kv mains to help reduce electricity supply problems.

ECGD has guaranteed a £5.2mn five-year buyer credit for the project (with financing arranged by Scotiabank Europe) to the Federation of St Kitts & Nevis’s ministry of finance.
International trade minister Baroness Symons says: “This project will be of great benefit to the thousands of people in St Kitts who are facing shortages in two essentials of life water and power.

“Upgrading these vital components of the island’s infrastructure will have significant benefits, particularly for its tourist industry and rural population.

“And I am pleased to note that this ECGD-supported project satisfies both environmental and sustainable development criteria in addition to providing valuable support to a UKexporter.”
As part of ECGD’s assessment of the environmental impact of the project, a study carried out by Canadian consultants found that the proposed water extraction levels are well within the capacity of current groundwater sources.

Islanders will also benefit further from the project with Crown Agents encouraging the development of local skills.

Rob Gilmour, Crown Agents’ operations manager for the project, explains: “The onsite work is being carried out by the Federation of St Kitts & Nevis and we are contributing our expertise to supply the required materials and equipment and provide specialist contractors to assist and train local staff.”