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Inter-American Development Bank directors, here for the just-concluded FOROMIC conference, spent the day touring some of their funded projects on the island.

Led by Deputy Chief Education Officer responsible for schools, Karen Best, the tour first visited West Terrace Primary, to review work done as part of a loan for the Education Sector Enhancement Programme.

Representative for IDB in Barbados, Joel Branski, noted: “I’m sure they will leave Barbados understanding how the education system here is working and how our loans to the Government of Barbados are getting the results. We have seen the result of the information technology here; seen all the IT systems working; the children using the IT system [and] being prepared for the future.

“We’ve seen a very motivated group of teachers; members of the staff; the Ministry of Education and we are really pleased… We think that this is the kind of result that we look for when our Board of Executive Directors approves a loan.”

Programme Director of the Programme Coordination Unit with the Ministry of Education, Paul Murphy said over $2 million had been spent on civil works to upgrade West Terrace, but noted that additional funds had to be provided there for the technology integration.

The tour went on to Bowmanston, St. John, where IDB officials toured the site of the Water and Sanitation Systems Upgrade Project, before joining Coastal Zone Management Unit heads in St. James, for a site visit to Folkestone Marine Park as part of the Coastal Risk Assessment and Management Programme and thereafter the South Coast Boardwalk project, under the Coastal Infrastructure Programme.

At Folkestone, IDB officials saw outlines of work to commence there in a few weeks that will involve the creation of a concrete walkway at the park, reconstruction of the beach and reinforcement using Canadian imported granite boulders.

Acting Director of the CZMU, Dr. Lorna Inniss responding to a question about whether granite will alter the ecosystem on the west coast due to the fact that granite will not have the same consistency as limestone to accommodate small creatures that would normally live there, said that they had seen a return of such creatures when the South Coast Boardwalk was done.

She said though that in any assessment of work, trade-offs were necessary to ensure maximum benefit from monies spent, given the maintenance that would be necessary as well over the 50 year expected life-span of the structures. (LB)

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