The Government of Saint Lucia, through the Ministry of Infrastructure, Ports, Transport, Physical Development and Urban Renewal has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).
This MOU sets a framework for strategic co-operation between the Department of Infrastructure, Ports and Transport and UNOPS on initiatives of mutual interest.
This includes: project management, infrastructure planning and development, procurement of goods, works and services, institutional capacity building, and mobilisation of funding to support climate resilient infrastructure planning and development.
The Government of Saint Lucia has designated the water services sector an area of priority. As such, the Water and Sewerage Co. Inc. (WASCO) is currently reviewing its medium term strategic and investment plans for the next 5-10 years. This also includes the development of climate resilient projects and the mobilization of funding for implementation activities.
In addition, UNOPS has also signed an MOU with WASCO. It is anticipated that subsequent to the signing of these Memoranda of Understanding the Department of Infrastructure, Ports and Transport and WASCO expect to initiate collaboration with UNOPS on water sector initiatives.
In this regard, WASCO will engage UNOPS as a strategic partner to provide support in the development and implementation of climate resilient water projects and associated institutional strengthening activities.
The United Nations Office for Project Services first established a framework agreement with the Government of Saint Lucia in January 2015. UNOPS has since collaborated with the Government of Saint Lucia on a number of key initiatives as well as establishing a framework for additional collaboration as follows:
- The Development and Implementation of the Mexican funded Dennery Water Supply Redevelopment Project (Phase 1).
- The Development and Implementation of the Mexican funded St. Jude Hospital Redevelopment Project Components.
- Development Planning initiatives including the establishment of the National Integrated Planning and Programme Unit (NIPP).
- MOU to support Renewable Energy and Social Housing initiatives.
On behalf of the Government of Saint Lucia, the MOU was signed by the Senior Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Infrastructure, Ports, Transport, Physical Development and Urban Renewal, Hon. Stephenson King, in delivering the feature address stated that the signing “marks yet another milestone in Saint Lucia advancing its responsiveness to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goal #6 – the provision of clean water and sanitation for all”
The Senior Minister added that the signing of the MOU represents another opportunity for Saint Lucia to collaborate with UNOPS on issues critical to the development of the country.
Signing the MOU on behalf of UNOPS was Mr. Alejandro Rossi, Multi-Country Director for the Caribbean, Costa Rica and Panama. Mr. Rossi indicated in his remarks that the signing opens “a new way for walking together, the Government of Saint Lucia and UNOPS, as a member of the United Nations team, in the direction of accelerating and increasing the sustainability and resilience of much needed infrastructure, to secure climate compatible development through very careful consideration of mitigation, adaptation and sustainability. All of this shall be achieved with the Fair Public Management UNOPS´ approach that makes it easier for governments to implement tangible actions.”
Mr. Vincent Hippolyte, Chairman of the Board of Directors signed on behalf of WASCO and also addressed the group highlighting his support for this initiative and its importance to WASCO. WASCO being at a critical juncture in its transformation is committed to mainstreaming climate resilience into the planning and development of water supply infrastructure.
It is anticipated that the collaboration with UNOPS will strengthen WASCO’s capacity and support achievement of its mandate which will no doubt result in improved water supply and sewerage services for all water users.
The signing ceremony was also attended by key GOSL stakeholders including the Department of Economic Development, Department of Sustainable Development as well as water sector stakeholders including Water Resources Management Agency (WRMA), National Utilities Regulatory Commission (NURC) and Caribbean Water and Sewerage Association (CAWASA) as well as the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Resident Implementation Officer.
This activity marks another milestone in Saint Lucia advancing its responsiveness to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals as it seeks to advance Goal No. 6 – the provision of Clean Water and Sanitation for all.