Home NewsCorporate Engineering Investment and Finance Water Treatment North America EIB to invest US$ 12 million to improve water supply and sanitation in Barbados

EIB to invest US$ 12 million to improve water supply and sanitation in Barbados

The US$ 12 million loan to the Ministry of Finance will allow the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) to rehabilitate Barbados’ drinking water distribution network by improving efficiency, service quality and resilience to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change.

The water project backed by the European Union will improve access to water for communities across the island, and builds on the European Investment Bank (EIB) climate action objectives in the Caribbean.

EU Ambassador, H.E. Daniela Tramacere said:

“Our Team Europe approach to support the water sector in Barbados has allowed the EIB to offer concessional financing conditions to the government. This will make the investments in resilient water infrastructure more affordable and helps reduce the government’s debt burden. The grant component for the EIB loan, made possible by European Development Fund resources, underlines how the EU is prioritizing support for climate action around the world.”

The EIB venture will focus on the rehabilitation of aged and deteriorated leaking infrastructure, pipes and reservoirs and more efficiently protect water supply in Barbados from climate change and more frequent extreme weather. The investment will also lead to substantial energy savings, reducing water losses in networks and an improvement in wastewater treatment operations.

More specifically,the investment will finance the following:

  • The replacement of about 16 km of aged pipes
  • The repair of water reservoirs and pumping stations
  • A flexible component for urgent sewage treatment equipment purchases

All of the improvements will contribute to preserving the limited water sources in the island in a climate change adverse environment and increase the resilience of the water supply system to drought conditions and reduce energy consumption in the water supply network.

Emma Navarro EIB Vice-President said:

“The EIB is delivering to ensure secure supply of clean water and ensure that water infrastructure is protected from a changing climate. As the largest international lender to the water sector worldwide, the EIB is pleased to be financing and providing its expertise to this project. This project will help to increase access to more efficient and reliable water supply in Barbados and build on our strong track record of supporting high-impact investment on the island and across the Caribbean”.

Leodean Worrell Chair of the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) said:

“The Board, management and staff of the BWA sincerely thank the EIB for their relentless support.  There is so much rehabilitation work to be done on our aging infrastructure. Without assistance such as what he have received from the EIB then there is only so far that the determination of our team can go.”

The loan is supported by an interest rate subsidy from the European Union to reduce Barbados’ debt burden and help the country’s efforts to develop investments that lead to climate resilience and with high social and environmental impact. In addition, the project is expected to contribute to Sustainable Development Goals 6 and 13 (Clean Water and Sanitation and Climate Action, respectively).

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