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Trinidad and Tobago to improve water quality with $50 million loan from the IDB

Project will reduce contamination along the Caroni River Basin and provide wastewater treatment for 9,100 households

Trinidad and Tobago will improve environmental conditions and the efficiency of the national Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) with a $50 million loan approved by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) today.

The operation will target a number of malfunctioning or abandoned wastewater treatment plants in three sub-catchments draining in the Caroni River Basin, in a densely populated area known as the East-West Corridor. This corridor stretches from the capital of Port-of-Spain to Arima, some 15 miles to the east.

Seven treatment plants will be interconnected with integrated systems that will draw their wastewaters into a number of larger plants, four of which will be rehabilitated. Priority works will begin in the Maloney sub-catchment.

As a result of the program, levels of contamination in affected rivers and streams will be drastically reduced and brought to compliance with the country’s stringent Water Pollution Rules.

A total of 13 kilometers of sewers and pipes will be laid as part of the five-year operation to complement the works on the wastewater treatment plants, benefitting more than 9,000 families currently being affected by poor wastewater management. While these families are the direct target of the proposed intervention, the whole urban population of Trinidad and Tobago will benefit from the improved water quality and better environmental conditions.

Water monitoring programs and training on operation and maintenance of the rehabilitated plants will ensure the sustainability of these investments. In addition, the project aims to improve the efficiency of WASA, cutting down operating expenses within a broader personnel reorganization framework. With program resources, compensation packages and vocational training will be financed as part of this restructuring process.

The loan is for a 25-year term, with a five-year grace period, at a variable interest rate based on LIBOR.