Country missing millions?

Barbados could be losing out on

millions of dollars in revenue per year,

from not tapping into the benefits of

investing in wastewater treatment.

Addressing a plenary session

on the first working day of the

Annual Caribbean Water

and Wastewater Association

Conference at Hilton Barbados

Resort this morning, UN Project

Coordinator in the Area of

Wastewater Management, Christopher

Corbin said a recent study revealed

that there was substantial money

in this sector.

Corbin, who is also a senior

executive in the Caribbean Regional

Fund for Wastewater Management,

said global data shows that pollution

of coastal water due to sewerage and

untreated wastewater, was costing

billions of dollars annually.

“Yet I have seen a recent study that

suggests that investments in sanitation

and wastewater treatment can bring

returns of between three times to 34

times the investment. Why aren’t we

investing in wastewater, if there is such

a benefit in terms of costs. Why aren’t

we doing more?” asked the UN expert.

He said he was happy to hear that

Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries

and Water Resource Management

Dr David Estwick had spoken of the

linkages between fisheries, agriculture

and food security.

Corbin noted that there were over

200,000 people directly employed in

the fishing industry in Barbados and the

rest of the region, with annual revenue

of about US$2 billion.

He is urging this country that when

looking at investing in wastewater

management, it needed to examine

its co-benefits.

The wastewater official noted

that when Barbados along with other

Caribbean governments had considered

the devastation of marine pollution

and that from land-based sources,

they agreed on the establishment of a

Pollution Prevention Protocol.

While Corbin did not name

Barbados as one of the countries which

have not yet ratified the Protocol,

reliable sources intimately involved in

the water conference told Barbados

TODAY, this island is not a signatory,

but was working on it.

The Protocol started with two

countries in 1999 and then, he added,

it took 11 years for the remaining eight

territories to come on board.

He pointed out that the PPP, which

became international law in 2010,

speaks to reducing pollution through

effluent and emission limitation and

promotion of best

management practices.

“As challenged as we are with

wastewater management, there are

best management practices out there.

There are economies of scale in terms

of the technologies; and we have seen

some of them on display here (at

Hilton). We can solve this problem, but

we need the commitment; we need the

political will and we need engagement

of everyone,” declared the UN

project Coordinator.

The topic of his presentation today

was Wastewater Management in the

Caribbean – Regional Challenges

and Issues.

Other submissions looked at Solving

Wastewater Management Challenges

for Caribbean Countries: Legal Planning

and Administrative Tools; Integrating a

Water Information System into George

Maps; the Value of Human Resources

Management in Today’s Business

Environment and Existing and Emerging

Wastewater Treatment Processes for

the Caribbean Region.

The conference continues

tomorrow at Hilton Barbados Resort.


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