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BWA to get expert help from the Netherlands

By Anesta Henry

The Barbados Water Authority (BWA) is set to receive help from water resource management experts in the Netherlands as the Government seeks to maximise access to the scarce commodity.

Prime Minister Mia Mottley announced that next week, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Transport, Works and Water Resources Santia Bradshaw will be leading a team from the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) to the northwestern European country to access substantive technical support and coordination from the government as well as universities.

And they are expected to return with some of the experts to complement the staff at the BWA.

The Prime Minister said that for many years, Barbados had neglected to invest significantly in its water resources and management, when compared to the interest given to other sectors.

“We are at the stage now where science must make a difference and clear strategic planning and the engineering considerations have to come to the fore,” Mottley said during a press conference at Ilaro Court on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Bradshaw, who was also present at the press conference, disclosed that Barbados has already been engaging in discussions with the Netherlands which is the best in the world as it relates to water resource management.

“As a consequence, we have taken the opportunity to meet with a number of players there in the sector. So, the university has been scheduling a number of meetings with us so that we can speak to a number of the operators.

“Out of this, we are hoping to get a number of best practices for the Barbados Water Authority. We have to transform the Barbados Water Authority and I think the best place to start is with one of the countries across the world that is known for doing this at a particular standard,” she said.

The Deputy Prime Minister reminded that Barbados does not have the luxury of time to find solutions to its water issues. She said this is why the process of raising the bar at the BWA must be accelerated, with assistance.

“And so, we have to go where the countries have those best practices. So this delegation is also looking to find technical experts who can complement the existing staff of the Barbados Water Authority.

“The Prime Minister has said that we need to get at least two persons to come back with us. I am hoping that we can get more because the reality is that in any transition, you are going to need additional hands to make light work,” Bradshaw said.

She added: “And while we have some skills within the BWA, they are often the same people who are being tasked with doing the same things. Therefore, we have to strengthen the human resource capacity within the department.

“So we will update both while we are there and when we return to be able to give positive feedback as to what the outcomes are for the Barbados Water Authority and certainly for Barbados generally.”

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