Barbados Water Authority has secured a $12 million loan to modernise its water distribution network.
The loan has been issued by the European Investment Bank to the country’s Ministry of Finance.
The EIB loan will fund the replacement of about 16 km of aged pipes, as well as the repair of water reservoirs and pumping stations.
The loan will be used to rehabilitate the country’s water and sewer system to improve efficiency, service quality and resilience to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change.
The investments will also lead to improvements to the deteriorated wastewater treatment facilities in the water-scarce country.
The project aims to improve energy savings, reduce water losses in networks and improve wastewater treatment operations.
EIB Vice-President, Emma Navarro said: “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”.
Minister for Energy and Water Resources, Hon. Wilfred Abrahams MP said: “We are facing very acute challenges with water and the water sector in Barbados. Climate change is real and the Small Island Developing states, of which Barbados is one, are on the frontline of the battle and taking a disproportionate share of the climate change casualties. While we are in the grips of the worst drought in the living memory of most Barbadians, our problems are compounded by the wastage of the very scarce supplies of water we do have through our aging infrastructure and delivery systems, many of which were developed when Britain was still an empire.
“We have to be creative in our solutions and our relationships with our Financing Partners, need to be nimble enough to provide practical and sustainable solutions in a timely manner. Barbados thanks the EIB for its continued assistance and partnership as we fight this battle together. Real partners, real solutions, real progress.”
EU Ambassador, H.E. Daniela Tramacere said: “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 prioritising support for climate action around the world. The EU is proud to be part of such a transformative project for the Barbados water sector.”