SEVENTEEN contracts have been signed for drainage works in Micoud South under St. Lucia’s Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project (DVRP) with another five contracts under procurement and expected shortly. The signed works valued at XCD $1.7 million are focused in the communities of Desruisseaux, Blanchard, AnseGer and Ti Rocher which have historically suffered from overland flooding caused by poorly channelled stormwater flows from surrounding hillsides.
The various packages of work (contracts) form part of a holistic, engineered drainage system designed to efficiently channel stormwater into various water courses in the communities and to accommodate up to a 1 in 25-year rainfall event. The drainage system is expected to provide community residents with significant relief from flooding. In keeping with the mission of the DVRP, the drains also build the community’s long-term resilience to climate change impacts, including heavier rainfall events and stronger hurricanes.
Design engineer for the drainage system, Norman St. Ville of TEAMS Inc., explained that the system includes a series of interconnected open drains, slabbed drains and road culvert crossings totally approximately 3,000 metres. The majority of this represents new drains and culvert crossings; upgrades to some existing drains are also included.
Prime Minister Honourable Allen Michael Chastanet who represents the Micoud South Constituency was pleased to see the much-needed drainage works moving forward and bringing economic opportunities to the communities. “We have been trying to build resilience in all our communities island-wide and this one will really mean a lot for the people of my constituency,” noted the PM. “I am not only speaking of the fact that we are protecting the community from the impacts of disasters but that it will create employment. Just this week we had the ground-breaking for the Canelles project and we are working on a Micoud Health Centre and fixing the playing fields. These projects are so important as there is increased activity in Micoud and the surrounding communities.”
Contractors were selected through a competitive bidding process in keeping with the requirements of the World Bank through which the DVRP is funded. To ensure economic benefit to the community and create employment opportunities, all contractors invited to bid were from the Micoud South Constituency. Mr Lwanga Willie who was awarded the contract for a package of drainage works at Desruisseaux shared his perspective on the importance of the works and gave his commitment to quality. “As a contractor I think that it is fundamental that we have proper drainage in the community. I will be doing my best to execute all of the specifications that are required and adhere to the safety and environmental specifications of the contract.”
At the contract signing contractors were reminded of the importance of adhering to the Environmental and Social Safeguard requirements for all works executed under the DVRP, including requirements related to site security, worker occupational health and safety, noise control, air quality, traffic management, liquid waste and code of conduct.
The public will be advised of the start of works which are anticipated soon, and which should be completed within three months of commencement. Community members can report any grievances arising from the drainage works through the DVRP’s Grievance Redress Mechanism by emailing the Project Coordinating Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org or contacting the Office at 468-5582.
The Micoud South drainage works complement the ongoing drainage works in South East Castries and planned drainage works in Anse La Raye, Canaries and Soufriere also being executed through the DVRP.