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Regional Water and Sanitation Conference Hosted in Martinique

CARIBBEAN stakeholders in the water and sanitation sector gathered in Martinique earlier this week (June 13 and14) for the CARIBSAN 2023 regional conference, held at the Palais des Congrès de Madiana in Fort-de-France.

This high-level international event brought together 15 countries from the region, including some 20 dignitaries from these territories and over 150 participants.

The event was to promote regional cooperation on sanitation in the Caribbean basin.

According to the CARIBSAN project office in Martinique, the conference “showcases the results obtained” during the first phase of the CARIBSAN project, which aims “to develop wetland treatment technology to improve sanitation in the Caribbean, and present future prospects.”

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CARIBSAN uses the wetland treatment solution to treat wastewater and according to the organizers, “This technology has already proved its effectiveness in Martinique and Guadeloupe, and is currently being deployed in Cuba, Dominica and Saint Lucia.”

It also says, “This solution, which is simpler, more resilient to natural hazards and less-costly than other conventional purification systems, is well-suited to the Caribbean situation.”

Various configurations are possible for this technology, and CARIBSAN says it “will support partners in choosing the most appropriate option.”

The conference included “round-table discussions on the challenges of wastewater treatment in the Caribbean region and on regional cooperation as a tool for tackling climate change.”

It also featured “discussions and experience-sharing on the preliminary studies carried out by the Cuban, Dominican and Saint Lucian partners as part of the project.”

The Martinique conference fielded visits to the Maupéou treatment wetland plant in Rivière-Salée and Taupinière in Le Diamant.

A Caribbean cooperation project, CARIBSAN is deployed between the various institutions in charge of water and sanitation in the Caribbean: INRH in Cuba, DOWASCO in Dominica and WASCO in Saint Lucia.

Also involved is the Caribbean network of sanitation operators, the Saint-Lucia based Caribbean Water and Sewerage Association (CAWASA), whose Director, Ignatius Jean, is also attending the regional conference.

CARIBSAN is financed by the European Union (EU) through the INTERREG program, the Agence Française de Développement and the Guadeloupe and Martinique Water Offices.

The project is managed by the Office de l’Eau Martinique (ODEM), the project operator is the International Office for Water (OiEau) and the technical partner is the Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement (INRAE).

CAWASA, WASCO and the Water Resources Management (WRM) Institute last year cooperated with CARIBSAN on the Saint Lucia leg of the program, that included visits to operational plants at Ti Kaye Village on the island’s West Coast, as well as to Cul De Sac in South Castries, to examine possibilities for implementation of the treatment approach.

Saint Lucia also earlier this year hosted a series of related regional meetings that brought together water and sewerage authorities and experts in several Caribbean states.