Basseterre, St. Kitts, (SKNIS) — “Every little action counts” and “water is not an infinite resource” were the chief messages at the launch of a climate-conscious water conservation campaign by the Water Services Department (WSD) yesterday (May 08).
The campaign is supported by the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the Rallying the Region to Action on Climate Change (RRACC) Project. Ms Tecla Fontenard, Communications Specialist for the RRACC said that it is important not to overestimate the amount of water available to us and that each individual has a significant part to play in preserving this precious resource.
The launch, which took place at the Independence Square, featured a number of stakeholders including the departments of Physical Planning and Environment, Water Services, Agriculture, Marine Resources, Tourism, Constituency Empowerment as well as the St. Christopher National Trust and Kittitian Hill, who engaged attendees with information and demonstrations on the impacts of climate change on various sectors and what can be done in response.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Works and Utilities, Hon. Dr. Earl Asim Martin said that because water is not an unlimited resource, residents of St. Kitts and Nevis will eventually have to change their usage habits and the best way to reduce negative impacts of water scarcity in the future is to practice good conservation habits now.
The minister also stressed that St. Kitts has done well in moving from a small ground-fed source of water to a large, reliable system, featuring above ground sources and advanced pumping mechanisms and treatment facilities. However, personal responsibility is still essential and individuals should do their best to assist the State by reporting leaks in public lines, respecting signage and regulations of the WSD and employing conservative practices like using rain water to wash cars and water gardens.
This phase of the campaign encourages individuals to “do just one thing” to conserve water and to note this in a pledge form that was provided at the launch and is available at the WSD. The form suggests a number of options and also allows space for other creative ideas. There are also direct rewards being offered to businesses and households that save the most water every quarter for the duration of the campaign.