The Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) is to finance several new projects for the Government of Montserrat, including several youth development initiatives. This was announced by the Hon. Premier and Minister of Finance Donaldson Romeo last week in his New Year’s Address.
The projects include:
a] The Water and Sanitation Sector portfolio (January), including: Elevation of Water Mains across Four Ghauts, Hope Water Storage Tank Replacement and Drummonds Septic System Replacement. Total, EC $1,515,000.00
b] Completion of the Drummonds road rehabilitation project valued at ECD$900,000.00.
c] The Banks Road Rehabilitation project is scheduled to commence early in the first quarter of 2016. EC $500,000.00.
Additionally, the minister noted, the local BNTF office is awaiting the final approval of the Education and Human Resource Development projects from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). It is expected that this portfolio will be approved late January 2016, EC $1,580,300.00. Mainly targeted at the youth and includes:
- Electrical Installation Skills Training Part 1
- Electrical Installation Part 2
- Davy Hill Baking and Agro Processing Skills Training
- MSS Agriculture Science Enhancement
- Expansion of ICT Programme in Primary Schools
- Managing Community Resources
- Completion of Davy Hill Community Resource Center
- Completion of St Johns Community Resource Centre
“Presently, there is the EC 21 million Montserrat Priority Infrastructure Needs Project, funded by DfID. While this project faced challenges early last year, works began over the last quarter of 2015 and have continued into 2016,” the minister added.
This initiative comprises eight different projects and will run for a period of three years. These include:
- Roads and Bridges – A new Asphalt Paver has been purchased for the Government of Montserrat and the works have already commenced in the Barzey’s area.
- Power – Upgrading of the underground electrical supply systems for Isles Bay.
- Water – Supplies and equipment to upgrade the water mains through Salem and Olveston have been ordered and works will begin as soon as the supplies have arrived on the island.
- Liquid Waste Management – A new sludge truck has been purchased, and a project to fence in the ponds at the New Windward site will take place.
- Emergency Shelters – several shelters from Salem to St Johns are to be upgraded
- Social Housing – while there have been delays, this is to proceed. Five emergency homes will go to tender shortly.
“The Geothermal project has been approved, with an estimated EC19 million for Drilling and Testing of the third Geothermal Well (Mon#3). Most of the preparatory work has been completed with actual drilling to commence in the second quarter of this year.
“More broadly, Projects with limited activity in 2015/16 will pick up momentum in 2016/17. With that understanding I wish to mention some additional projects that are “in the pipeline”:
- Agriculture Resilience Project – to provide irrigation for farmers – EC $100,000
- Promotion and Development – EC $800,000
- Water Course Embankment Project – EC $265,000
- Thanks to EU funding, 62 material grants totalling EC 2,000,000 are presently being processed along with a further EC$1,000,000 to build 5 new homes under the Credit Union Support to Housing project.
- As the New Build Hospital project moves ahead, work to improve the existing hospital facility and to provide new equipment are in progress. This will improve the health care on Island from here on.