(CBN4)-The Dominica Water and Sewage Company Limited (DOWASCO), in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and the World Health Organization (WHO), is holding a two-day National Stakeholder Consultation to examine and develop the Water Safety Plan for Dominica.

Bernard Ettinoffe, General Manager at DOWASCO, says that the main reason behind this consultation is to protect the right of Dominicans to enjoy potable water.

“Human beings all over the world have the right to access clean, potable water for daily use and maintenance of their living standards. In spite of that right, we recognise that there are a number of people in the world, large numbers of people, living without access to potable water. And even some who have access, that water, the quality, is not what the standard should be based on WHO standards,” he lamented.

According to Ettinoffe, the government has the mandate to provide clean, potable water to the people, and with the help of DOWACO, that is possible.

“Water safety planning, in my opinion, is extremely important  as water, as we say, is life and important to life and can have very beneficial or if not managed properly, could have some very harmful effects as well on our people,” Ettinoffe commented. 

“We will seek to govern how we manage our resources from the catchment areas, and when I speak of catchment areas I’m not just talking about the intakes across the rivers. But I’m talking about the wider catchment areas. The several acres of lands around those rivers, how we manage those things to ensure that we provide water that is suitable for consumption to our people, thus avoiding the unnecessary health risks and ensuring that our people are on a sustainable growth path to development.”

During the two-day consultation, there will be various presentations on how to develop a water safety plan, overviews of the water operations and water quality in Dominica, literature reviews, as well as field visits to various catchment sites.

The water safety plan will be developed for a selected water supply system, which will provide the basis for replication nationally and regionally, with adaptations where necessary.