Full Water Restoration to all Communities Complete Post TS Erika
General Manager of Dominica’s water supply company, Bernard Etinoffe says every community in Dominica now has access to potable water since Tropical Strom Erika.
He made this statement in an exclusive interview with GIS News on Thursday, December 31st.
“Prior to tropical Storm Erika, we were nearing 100% access to potable water; in fact on completion of the Belles/Sylvania/Layou Park Water Project we would have been at 99%. That system should have been commissioned in October but because of the storm, we had a major setback not just for that project but throughout Dominica.
“All 44 water systems were tremendously affected. We are pleased to report however that almost all of those systems are now up and running and every community is again being served with potable water from DOWASCO.”
He notes however some of the water systems in place are temporary and in order to provide water to all areas of Dominica, specific measures must be taken.
“Temporary restoration cost DOWASCO in excess of $5m and the more permanent work will cost in the region of $38m. We will be working with Government and the financial institutions to see how we can bring those systems up to speed in the shortest time.
“We recognize that the systems are very vulnerable even to minor weather conditions at this time and we really do not want the disruption to the lives of our people and customers so we will do all that we can…to ensure that the systems are brought to a standard that can serve the people of Dominica.”
“We have been trying to provide water to as far as Grand Savanne, Salisbury from the Picard, Portsmouth intake. That has been going fairly ok with the exception that to fill the Salisbury tank, we have to shut off some valves in the Portsmouth area…so that everybody can receive water at some time,” he explained.
“It is not the best thing; we know that people complain from time to time when there is no water at night. We try to inform people beforehand by radio announcements. I must say that the cooperation has been tremendous from the general public.”
The final community to receive a regular supply of water was Giraudel whose supply was seriously affected by the storm.
“It’s a pumping system and we had to replace pipes and source [a type of] cable to power the pumps by the river. We got those just before Christmas and with the assistance of DOMLEC and the contractor, we were able to restore water to the Giraudel community. The people exercised tremendous patience.”
Etinoffe added that DOWASCO attempted to carry water by trucks to the people of that area but that method was not very efficient since the truck could not carry its maximum load uphill.
He gave his heartfelt thanks to all nationals who cooporated with and assisted DOWASCO.
He also extended thanks to the staff of DOWASCO.