Potable water on the way for Crooked Island

Bennett Minnis, a member of the board of WSC; Miriam Emmanuel, MP for MICAL; Adrian Gibson, MP for Long Island and Executive Chairman, WSC; and Elwood Donaldson, GM, WSC are pictured at the groundbreaking ceremony in Crooked Island.

Residents of Crooked Island clapped their hands in jubilant approval as Water & Sewerage Corp. Executive Chairman Adrian Gibson officially announced that water is on the way for the southeastern part of the island. During a groundbreaking ceremony at Colonel Hill Park, November 25, 2019, Mr. Gibson announced that although confined to a single lot, the proposed work will be “extensive.” 

In eight months the settlements of Pond Road, Church Grove, Timothy Thompson and Colonel Hill will get potable water for the first time, and/or water issues faced by residents will be corrected. The plans by WSC include installation of approximately 18,850 feet of 4-inch PVC pipe and approximately 5,800 feet of 2-inch PVC pipe with fewer than 100 water service connections. The project is the result of a Caribbean Development Bank’s (CDB) water supply improvement loan of $28.33 million with counterpart funding of $13.3 million by the Bahamas Government.

“Our government provides Crooked Island with potable water distribution systems that will stand the test of time. I can assure you that while not all of Crooked Island is being covered during this time, we continue to look at ways and means that we can further extend the water mains in Crooked Island,” said Mr. Gibson. “My outlook is not Nassau-centric. Those of us on the islands deserve the same services and same opportunities as those persons in New Providence. Like you, I grew up in on an island and know what it feels like to be on these islands and don’t have what many in New Providence have.

Water & Sewerage Corporation Executive Chairman and MP for Long Island, Adrian Gibson gives remarks at the groundbreaking ceremony for a potable water distribution system in Crooked Island.

“I know what it is to draw water from the well, to use a pump and tote water. I feel your pain and that is why it is my daily thrust to ensure that we get water to as many people as we could on these islands,” said Mr. Gibson. He underscored the importance of utilities for development.

“Sometimes people stench and don’t want to come because there is no water, light, airport or other development available. Putting water on Crooked Island and other islands is another step to seeing further development and people having an interest in investing in these places,” he said. He assured residents that engineers have taken care to design water systems that are “robust” to climate variability and change. “They have identified potential climate change impacts along with appropriate adaption measures for Crooked Island. For example, all pipelines to be laid along roadways that are adjacent to the sea will be laid at a depth of 4 feet. The standard depth for laying pipes is 3 feet, so we are adjusting for climate change. Pipes will also be installed opposite the road from where the sea is situated.”

A view of the audience in attendance at the groundbreaking ceremony for water mains in Crooked Island.

Mr. Gibson extended gratitude to the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis, Prime Minister; the Hon. Desmond Bannister, Minister of Public Works; CDB; N.O. Whyte and Associates Ltd.; independent consultants; Julius Bonaby, WSC employee in Crooked Island; engineers and technicians including Leslie Hutcheson, Ayla Isaacs, Hugo Andrews, Ashton Symonette and Vincent McDonald for their contributions to the proposed water project for Crooked Island. Following the ceremony, officials including Mrs. Miriam Emmanuel, MP for MICAL and Adrian Gibson, who is MP for Long Island, donned orange hardhats and marked the occasion by turning sand with ceremonial shovels.

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