The Barbados Water Authority (BWA) is one step closer to accessing funds from the US$39.5 million loan facility approved by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) for improvement of the island’s water supply network.
Giving an update today on the loan that was approved since December 10, 2015, Director of Projects at the CDB Daniel Best said disbursement should start before the end of June this year and critical infrastructure work should begin later this year.
Responding to questions during the CDB’s annual media conference at its Wildey, St Michael headquarters this morning, Best said the financial institution recently held talks with the new management at the BWA to determine how the implementation of the loan could be advanced.
“The procurement of engineering services under that initiative has commenced and the consultants should be engaged very early in the second quarter of this year and we anticipate that civil works under this initiative will commence later this year,” Best said.
The project will support an upgrade of existing infrastructure above ground, the replacement and refurbishment of reservoirs, measures to reduce non-revenue water, installation of at least four solar photovoltaic plants, as well as training for BWA staff in several areas.
Best also announced that the US$7.5 million approved in 2015 to prop up the Student Revolving Loan Fund (SRLF) and the US$225,000 for institutional strengthening to enhance its business model, should be disbursed before the end of June this year.
The SRLF provides funding for eligible Barbadians seeking assistance for their tertiary level education.
“We have been in discussions with the Government of Barbados and we anticipate a disbursement on the Student Revolving Loan Fund should occur very early in the second quarter. So the dialogue between the CDB and the various agencies in which we operate has been ongoing,” Best assured.