The Hillsborough dam will cost $150 million to desilt, with the cost to be borne by central government. Desilting will take two years, but Tobagonians could enjoy benefits of an increased water supply by the end of 2019.
So said Public Utilities Secretary Clarence Jacob, speaking at last Thursday’s debate on a motion for the Assembly’s Legislature to accept Executive Council measures to manage Tobago’s affairs for fiscal 2019 given a $2.2 billion allocation from the national budget.
Jacob said priority projects for 2019 included distributing land in Courland by January/February, and other land and housingprojects to benefit Tobagonians.
“Ware finalising the Courland area, we are approximately 80 per cent finished, there are contractors who have already been mobilised… by the end of January, persons would be able to access those lands as 108 lots would be distributed in January/ February of next year,” “We also have the Signal Hill development…the Signal Hill area suffers from a sewer problem and we want to do that connection in January.”
He also mentioned the Shirvan Development land programme “where we want to develop 60 acres of land through a PPP arrangement to provide homes for Tobagonians.”
“We also have lands at Adelphi, but with this financial issue, we are unable to do everything at the same time,” he said. As regards the desilting of the Hillsborough dam, Jacob promised that Tobagonians would no longer suffer water woes He said that during last Monday’s visit with by Public Utilities Robert Le Hunte to Tobago, discussions were held on issues faced by Tobagonians with regards to utilities.
“We started the conversation with the dredging of the Hillborough dam… the next day, we went to the dam together…It was then that he (Le Hunte) gave us to commitment that he would assist us from January with regards to dredging that dam. All the engineers were there, all the technocrats were there, the Permanent Secretary… and the conversation was fruitful, so we are moving to desilt the dam.
“The total costs to dredge that dam will cost us approximately $150 million and that will come from the central government to assist Tobagonians,” Jacob.
He added that upon completion, the dam’s water storage capacity would increase by as much as 60 to 70 million gallons of water.