Ian “Patches” Liburd once protected the Basseterre Valley Aquifer; He now plans to destroy our drinking water

Basseterre, St Kitts, May 22, 2019 – The Hon Ian Patches Liburd, who was the Basseterre Valley Aquifer Project Manager, charged with the responsibility of protecting this critical aquifer and well field, is now championing the total destruction of the vital natural water resource.
In 2008, Mr Liburd headed The Global Environment Facility funded Integrated Watershed and Coastal Areas Management (IWCAM) demonstration project in the Basseterre Valley Watershed (BVW), which was aimed at demonstrating the proper management and protection of a critical aquifer and well-field through a parallel process of mitigating threats from contaminants; on-the-ground protection through specific management activities; and improved user-resource management through the establishment of a management regime in the form of a national park.
The Project Management Unit of the Basseterre Valley Aquifer Project was established in 2008, and the appropriate geological surveys conducted in June 2009.
In a June 25, 2010 article printed in the St Kitts and Nevis Observer, under the headline: “The Basseterre Valley Aquifer Churning Toward Conservation” by Alecia Daniel-Blake, Mr Ian “Patches” Liburd is quoted as stating: “Cabinet approved the seeking of funds for Phase II from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other agencies for financial and technical support.”
Mr Ian Liburd, Basseterre Valley Aquifer Project Manager further noted that initial discussions have already taken place with Rob Weary, Senior Policy Advisor for Latin America and the Caribbean pertaining to financial support from The Nature Conservancy which is expected to become available by January 01, 2011.
The article further quotes Mr Ian “Patches” Liburd as stating: “The implementation steps for the legislation for the establishment of the park, protected area and park trust have already been researched.”
Mr Liburd continued: “I foresee everything going forward in the near future, particularly considering that the protection of the aquifer and establishment of the park are of major concern to the government.”
The Project Manager stressed that because we live in a dynamic world certain aspects of the project, such as the legislation would continue to be fine-tuned. “The conservation legislation is all inclusive of both islands of the Federation,” Liburd emphasized.
The Basseterre Valley Aquifer is the largest groundwater source in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. It provides over 40% of the potable water supply for St. Kitts and is a major driver for economic and social development of St. Kitts and Nevis.
Over the past 3 years, the Government of St. Kitts-Nevis through the Water Services Department (WSD), has been implementing an integrated water resources management project within the Basseterre Valley.
This included a thorough assessment of the groundwater resources and the creation of a strategic water resources management plan.
The project outcomes also included training for proper design of septic tanks, public education and outreach, the construction of an oil / water separator at the Needsmust power station and the installation of critical equipment to prevent water loss.
The cornerstone of this project is the designation of the sensitive well-field area of the Basseterre Valley Aquifer as a Protected Area, to be converted into a National Park (Phase II).
This area includes approximately 500 acres of land in the Ponds-Needsmust area on both sides of the Kim Collins Highway. The designation was officially gazetted on April 21, 2011 and marked the first major step in the continued commitment of the government of St. Kitts-Nevis to protect this precious resource for generations to come.
Fast forward to 2015, Mr Liburd as the Parliamentary Representative for St Christopher 1 (East Basseterre) is championing the construction of the new Basseterre High School on the Basseterre Valley Aquifer that he once protected.
The St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party and several professional experts have been critical of the decision to build the new BHS on the aquifer.

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