Stakeholders who have answered the call to be part of the Grenada Water Stakeholder Platform (GWaSP) signed a 2-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Friday, 20 January 2017, in an effort by the Government of Grenada to take action towards meeting short-term and long-term water security risks.
Grenada is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, in particular with regard to the water sector and agriculture. The island experienced 2 major drought events in recent years (2010 and 2012) which significantly affected the water and agricultural sectors. All major climate change scenarios also indicate that rainfall across the island would decline during future seasons. Coupled with insufficient water storage capacities and pollution problems, water shortages are predicted to become a severe human and economic development problem for the island.
GWaSP is the Grenada arm of the International Water Stewardship Programme (IWaSP), which is implemented by the German Technical Cooperation Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on a global level. It will take measures to identify, develop and implement joint initiatives to reduce the water risk for companies and communities, to improve water availability, and reduce pollution and flood events.
Merina Jessamy, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry and Fisheries (MALFF) stated: “With a predicted reduction of approximately 20% of annual rainfall within this century, and a potential increase of extreme weather events due to climate change, Grenada is acutely vulnerable to risks related to water security. These risks can have severe impacts on Grenada’s economic development since sufficient water is a key ingredient for all economic sectors, but in particular for the tourism and agricultural sectors as well as food and beverage production.”
Currently, there are 2 planned partnerships that the Platform seeks to implement in the short term:
Grand Anse/ Morne Rouge Watershed: This partnership deals with the problem of frequent flooding in Morne Rouge, Grand Anse after heavy showers, particularly in the hotel and shopping mall area. The broken drainage outlet near the Spice Island Resort exacerbates the current situation as it is often blocked with sand and silt due to its dilapidated state. Since there is also a sewage pumping station in the same area, there is a serious health threat to the community, customers and tourists due to the frequent flooding.
Grand Etang Lake: the improvement of Grand Etang as the largest and most important freshwater storage resource in Grenada has been identified by various stakeholders, including NAWASA and the hotel and tourism sector. The Grand Etang Lake suffers from an increasing overgrowth by reed, which reduces the water storage volume and affects the water quality but also reduces the touristic value of one of the most important natural sights in Grenada.
For each of these projects, the signing members of GWaSP are working together with relevant stakeholders. As such GWaSP provides an open forum for members of the communities to discuss their water-related challenges.
It will be the role of the platform to agree on complementary actions and investments as well as to promote GWaSP and water stewardship in the media, amongst the community, in water operators’ seminars and conferences, and possibly parliamentary hearings.
The signing members include: The Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association (GHTA), The National Water and Sewerage Authority (NAWASA), The Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA), The Ministry of Health, Social Security & International Business, The Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation & Culture, The Physical Planning Unit (PPU) within the Ministry of Communications, Works, Physical Development, Public Utilities, ICT & Community Development, The Land Use and Forestry Divisions within the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry & Fisheries, The Environment Division of the Ministry of Education, Human Resource Development & the environment., The Marketing and National Importing Board (MNIB), The St Patrick Environmental and Community Tourism Organization (SPECTO), and TP Smith Engineering.
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH works to develop lasting solutions for sustainable development and manages IWaSP, jointly with the Land Use Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry and Fisheries (MALFF) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the UK Department for Inter- national Development (DfID).