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Trinidad and Tobago to alleviate flooding in Port of Spain with IDB loan

Loan of $120 million will improve drainage infrastructure and aid institutional strengthening of the sector

Trinidad and Tobago will minimize impacts from the lack of, or insufficient, urban drainage infrastructure in critical areas of the city of Port of Spain (POS) through a US$120 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). 

Trinidad and Tobago is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, which is aggravated by high population density and economic pressure on coastal areas. Flooding in both urban and rural areas is a frequent occurrence, leading to substantial losses of property, agriculture, human health and detriment to Trinidadian’s quality of life. 

Today, the economic damage caused by floods in the targeted project area is estimated at US$11.6 million. This IDB-financed program will mitigate flooding events in the city of Port of Spain, by supporting the improvement of catchment management through the implementation of drainage infrastructure, such as interceptors, drainage systems, detention ponds and pumping stations. 

The program will also focus on the institutional strengthening of the sector, specifically of the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources (MEWR). The activities will include all institutional arrangements necessary to support the creation of an independent authority working jointly with the MEWR that could build, operate and maintain all of the existing and future drainage infrastructure in the country. 

The program will also enhance the local quality of life within East the Port of Spain through the construction of a 1.4 kilometer linear park as an urban improvement measure. Port of Spain is one in the first set of cities selected in the IDB’s Emerging Sustainable Cities Initiative (ESCI). By combining the intervention for flood alleviation with the amenities of a new urban park, this operation complements the ESCI Action Plan for the city with the improvement of the river and its currently deteriorated surrounding public areas into a more harmonious urban environment. 

The IDB loan is composed of US$120 million over 25 years with a five-year grace period and an interest rate based on LIBOR.