WELCOME & OPENING REMARKS BY GM
OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF
THE BAHAMAS WATER SUPPLY IMPROVEMENT PROJECT
At a recent general staff meeting, our employees were reminded of the important role they play, not only in national development, but in the life, and health of our citizens.
At times like this we also have to remind ourselves that, even as we advance towards the goal of providing safe potable water to all citizens through projects like this, we have a long way to go to efficiently provide the scarce freshwater resources to the global population. Some key statistics provides a reminder lest we, as the proverbial saying goes, not see the forest for the trees
· Water covers over 70% of the earth’s surface but only 3% of that is fresh water
· Most fresh water occurs as ice with less than 1% ready for human consumption
· The amount of safe water could drop by 40 percent in 15 years if people do not change the way they use water
· Almost 10 billion imperial gallons of potable water lost daily through water leakage in distribution networks in developing countries enough to serve about 200 million persons
· ~800 million people (1 in 9 people) do not have access to clean water (2 ½ x US popn)
· ~50% of those are in the Latin America & Caribbean
· ~840,000 people die annually from the consequences of water-related diseases. ~100/hour ; therefore in the time taken to open these events, 200 persons have passed away as a result of water-related diseases
· The water crisis is one of the top ten global risk based on impact to society and likelihood of occurring within 10 years as announced by the World Economic Forum, January 2015.
· 2.5 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation.
· There are more people who have a mobile phone than access to a toilet.
Add climate change to the above and the outlook inspires a sense of urgency in execution, and focus in climate adaptation and resilience of our services. These stark realities must forever drive us to a culture of advancement through efficient and effective service provision. This in turn will help us to better utilize scarce financial resources to fund expansions of these services to all citizens. It is especially challenging in archipelagic nation such as ours. This project will make a significant difference and have a life changing impact on those in the service area.
Against this backdrop and with a firm commitment and focus to fulfill our mandate of providing potable water to our nation, it is indeed a pleasure to welcome all of you on behalf of the Water & Sewerage Corporation to this Official Project Launch for the Bahamas Water supply Improvement Project.