Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 22, 2016 (SKNIS): In an effort to further bring awareness to citizens and residents about the importance of water and the need for conservation, St. Kitts and Nevis joins the rest of world to observe World Water Day (WWD) 2016, today, Tuesday, March 22 under the theme “Water and Jobs”.
The Honourable Ian Patches Liburd, Minister of Public Infrastructure, stated that WWD, is an occasion earmarked to celebrate water, as well as to make a difference for members of the global population who suffers from water related issues.
“It is a day to prepare for the way we manage water in the future,” he said, while noting that the United Nations General Assembly made a decision to declare the first ever WWD on March 22, 1993. “World Water Day is celebrated worldwide each year, thus shining the spotlight on a different issue.”
The Minister noted that water is not just an ordinary commodity.
“Water is the essential building block of life, yet it is more than just essential to quenching our thirst or protecting our health; water is vital for creating jobs and supporting economic, social, and human development,” said Minister Liburd. “Today, half of the world’s workers – approximately 1.5 billion people – work in water-related sectors. Moreover, nearly all jobs, regardless of the sector, depend directly on water. But at the same time, despite the indelible link between jobs and water, millions of people whose livelihoods depend on water are often not recognized or protected by basic labour rights.”
Making reference to jobs created through the Water Department in the Federation, specifically St. Kitts, the honourable minister stated that over 100 persons are employed. He noted that these workers perform the challenging task of managing the island’s fresh water resources.
“Their job involves capturing water from our traditional surface and groundwater sources, treating that water, storing it and then distributing it to consumers in our various towns and villages,” said the minister. “The task of bringing water from the source to our taps is challenging work that requires a wide variety of disciplines working together: Mechanics, electricians, masons, pipefitters, treatment plant and pump operators, foremen, and inspectors and engineers all working in concert for one purpose – to deliver a safe and reliable water supply to the general public.”
Minister Liburd made a plea for the general public to acknowledge the outstanding work of the employees of the Water Services Department, as they continue to perform exceptionally in order to ensure a daily flow of water through the taps, a job he said was extremely challenging especially during the drought.