Deputy Prime Minister urging citizens to place greater value on water

By MyVue Staff Reporter

Basseterre, 22nd March, 2021, (MyVue Minister of Public Utilities, Shawn Richards, has issued a call for residents and business owners, to place greater value on water.

Richards opined that there are far too many persons and businesses in St. Kitts who are not demonstrating that they value water by paying their water bills monthly. 

Speaking during an official address over the weekend to mark World Water Day, the minister also urged citizens to take urgent actions to reduce the wastage of water.

“I take this opportunity to remind you that if you are not tracking your water usage and paying your bills then you could be responsible for wasting one of our most precious resources and thus putting the future sustainability of our water resources at risk.” said Richards.

The theme for this year’s World Water Day observance is “Valuing Water”.

Richards indicated that although we take for granted the availability of water at our taps 24 hours per day, this is a privilege that we have earned by investing in infrastructure and human capital to ensure the proper management of the water resources over the years. 

He added that these kinds of investments cannot be short-term in nature but must be sustained in order to serve as a foundation for other sectors of the economy to grow on. 

The Minister of Public Utilities noted that valuing water is not just about the price we pay for water; but ultimately, one of the simplest ways we demonstrate that we value something is by the price we are willing to pay for it. 

The last time water rates were increased in St. Kitts was 2001, some twenty years ago. 

Water rates in St. Kitts & Nevis are amongst the lowest anywhere, stated Richards.

He also revealed that the United Nations recommends that a water bill should not be more than 3% of household income. 

“If a low-income family has an income of $1,600.00, 3% of income is $48.00/month.  A family of five (5) using water efficiently should not be using more than $48.00/month,” stated the minister.

In December, 2020, the government signed a contract for over six (6) million dollars with BEAD LLC to undertake Well Drilling/Remediation in the Cayon and Basseterre Areas. 

Richards said they are confident that a permanent solution to the water shortage in Cayon will soon be a thing of the past. He also acknowledged that “the good people of Cayon have endured ( such shortages )over the years.”

The government’s responsibility is to ensure accessibility, equity, and the productive use of water for development and progress. 

The manifestation of such responsibility is the development of infrastructure to distribute water to various consumers and sectors.  Water infrastructure is fundamental to the development of our nation, stated the minister. 

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