“I think that this is one of the best projects that has been undertaken by any organisation in the past years.” This was the sentiment shared by Blaize resident, Lennon Thomas, when asked what about his thoughts on the construction of what would become the 1st community-based Rain Water Harvesting System in Grenada.
The National Water and Sewerage Authority (NAWASA) and the German Agency for International Co-operation (GIZ) are the driving forces behind the project, which is estimated at EC$300,000.
Residents have been at a disadvantage over the years, due to the community’s high elevation and the Authority’s difficulties to provide them with pipe-borne water, which resulted in the receipt of a fortnightly supply from water tankers.
Throughout the years, NAWASA has invested a lot of time and resources, researching avenues to introduce a safe and sustainable source of potable water to the community. At long last, a solution has been found in the form of Rain Water Harvesting, which can be defined as a 3-step process involving the collection, storage and distribution of rainwater for indoor and outdoor use.
Dave Marquez, who is an Engineering Assistant at NAWASA, is tasked with the responsibilities of Project Manager and says that the new initiative will transform the lives of over 200 community members. “Through the existence of the 50,000 imperial gallons rainwater harvesting tank, the current hardship faced by residents to obtain water from alternative sources will be alleviated. And, to add a cherry on top of a wonderful year, NAWASA’s Board of Directors has made the decision to waive the connection fee, which evidently is good news for the residents.”
Residents of the area have lauded the initiative, which they say is long overdue. According to them, efforts have been made by various organisations to help solve the problem and they have proven to be futile, but NAWASA and GIZ have reintroduced the definition of hope into their vocabulary.
The contract for the project was awarded to Farray’s Construction Services Ltd. Managing Director, Junior Farray, says that 70% of the current on-site employees hail from the community of Blaize, and they are putting their best foot forward in an effort to ensure that the project, which is currently ahead of schedule, is completed by June, just in time for the start of the rainy season.