Residents of Rose Hill in Castries will benefit from extensive drainage repair works currently being carried out by the Holistic Opportunity for Personal Empowerment (HOPE) project. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in infrastructure is also expected to be saved following the work.
The two major waterways have caused significant damage to houses and undermined key walkways, making passage through the areas unsafe. Over the years the open drains are responsible for the deterioration of hundreds of thousands of dollars in government and residential infrastructure.
HOPE, through the Saint Lucia Social Development Fund (SSDF), has financed the project as part of its mandate to create employment opportunities, provide skills training and improve the health of citizens.
A drain is being constructed from an existing waterway at the back of the Rose Hill Community Centre. The wastewater from facility, which is utilised by the community to wash, bathe and collect drinking water, had run unchecked under the centre as well as under residents’ houses. The dirt drain has been expanding over time, with the movement of the soil claiming more and more land.
The new drain will run two hundred eighty-five (285) feet long, from the back of the Rose Hill community centre to the main road.
The other project, in the Jungle area of Rose Hill, involves the repair of a two hundred, ninety (290) feet long drain. It is adjacent to steps that link a large section of the community and are traversed by hundreds of residents every day. The steps were being eaten away by the flow of water through the rough dirt drain, which had also seeped under the foundations of houses.
The HOPE project has seen the drains being properly shaped and directed to join existing outlets and sealed with concrete and steel. A total of four weeks each was allocated for the completion of the projects.
Supervisor, Sherman Xavier, who headed the first crew to begin work under HOPE, says the projects will be completed on or close to schedule. Xavier, a small contractor who has worked with the Poverty Reduction Fund (PRF), is also supervising projects that create employment and better living conditions for residents of George Ville, New Village, La Cou Dou, Washington and Leslie Land.
Approximately thirty (30) persons from the affected areas are employed on the two projects. Some of these individuals are skilled in their profession and are providing hands-on training for others with a view to equipping them to continue in that field of work.
The Holistic Opportunity for Personal Empowerment (HOPE) project is a major component of the Social Safety Net Initiative implemented by the Government of Saint Lucia. HOPE addresses the immediate needs of the targeted group(s) while equipping them with resources to secure and create more sustainable livelihood opportunities.
HOPE is designed to reduce unemployment and create a cyclical effect for continued employment through varied projects; provide career and life skills training at various levels; improve and promote healthy lifestyles practices.
HOPE is administered by the Saint Lucia Social Development Fund (SSDF), which is an amalgamation of the Poverty Reduction Fund (PRF) and the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF).
The mandate of the SSDF is to ensure the delivery of basic services to disadvantaged and marginalised communities in Saint Lucia.
SSDF is funded by regional and international agencies.
(published by Voice Newspaper)