Caribbean Water and Wastewater Conference Underway in Bahamas

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    Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie addresses some 300 delegates at the 23rd Annual Conference & Exhibition of the Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association during the opening ceremony held October 6 at Atlantis, Paradise Island. Pictured third left is Deputy Prime Minister the Hon. Philip Davis. The theme for the weeklong event is ‘Water, Waste and Energy in the Caribbean.

    NASSAU, The Bahamas — Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie said the issue of water is chief on the nation’s agenda: given the amount of development taking place in the country, water and water conservation methods are key issues that must be addressed in order to keep up with development.

    Mr. Christie made the statement while addressing some 300 delegates of the 23rd Annual Conference & Exhibition of the Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association during the opening ceremony, October 6 at Atlantis, Paradise Island. The theme for the weeklong the event is ‘Water, Waste and Energy in the Caribbean.’

    Prime Minister Christie told the delegates that climate change was recently described as the defining issue of the twenty-first century. Countries such as The Bahamas must do ‘their part’ in the quest to ensure that natural resources such as water are accessible to all citizens.

    Encouraging innovation towards finding positive solutions, he noted: “Despite our challenges, we must ask ourselves whether or not we can do more to give more of our people access to basic privileges that they do not have, or do not have enough of. That is our quest in The Bahamas — to see the disparities of development, of wealth, the differences that exist in our islands; that people have access to water, electricity and other resources.”

    Also in attendance was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works and Urban Development, the Hon. Philip Davis who also delivered remarks.

    Mr. Davis welcomed the delegates to The Bahamas and discussed his recent visit to Samoa, where he participated in discussions about environmental issues affecting small island states such as The Bahamas.

    He told them: “Last month, I had the opportunity to travel to Samoa and participate in a conference for Small Island Developing States (SIDS). There, we discussed conditions that threaten our very existence and the negative impact that developed countries have on nations like ours. As you deliberate and dialogue, I trust that you will find ways and means to keep the issue of climate change as a priority focus — changing patterns of precipitation, extreme weather events, storm surges and a increasing sea levels all impact our development.”

    The Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA) is a regional non-governmental organization established by an Act of Parliament in Trinidad and Tobago in l991. The CWWA is a grouping of water, wastewater and solid waste professionals in the public and private sectors. The objectives of the organization are to provide training and education in the area of water supply, wastewater and solid waste disposal and to encourage study, research and development in water supply, wastewater and solid waste disposal. Currently, over 30 countries are members of the organization.

    The Bahamas was the venue for the conference in 2012. The next conference will be in Miami, Florida, next year.