ST. GEORGE’S, GRENADA, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2010. Ensuring the safety of Grenada’s drinking and recreational water quality is the main focus of a five-day training workshop which began in St. George’s today, September 20.
Environmental Health Officers and other participants – from the Ministry of Health, the Grenada Produce Chemist Laboratory and National Water and Sewerage Authority (NAWASA) – are being trained to perform rapid tests; the equipment to conduct the basic field tests; as well as critical laboratory equipment to facilitate further testing at the Grenada Produce Chemist Laboratory has already been purchased by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). The total cost of the project is over ECD$26,500.00.
In addressing the participants at a short opening ceremony, Policy Advisor to the Minister for Health, Terron Gilchrist, underscored the importance of the workshop, noting that guaranteeing a safe supply of water, which is of a high standard, is fundamentally important for the country.
Mr. Gilchrist, in an address at Monday’s workshop opening ceremony, reiterated government’s determination to public safety and to providing the best healthcare for all.
In this regard, the role of the role and function of the Ministry of Health are critical is reducing the spread and outbreak of waterborne diseases, Mr. Gilchrist said.
Patricia Aquing, Executive Director of the Caribbean Environmental Health Institute (CEHI), said the issue of water quality is a very serious challenge and cause of concern in the region. She revealed that there are high levels of pollutants in the recreational and potable water in the region. An estimated 65% of untreated waste water is being discharged into the marine and costal environment, Ms. Aquing said.
Meanwhile, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Country Programme Officer for Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Tessa Stroude, described the workshop as judicious, given the findings of a recent assessment of water safety in the Tri-island State.
Following the findings, the Ministry of Health sought PAHO assistance for developing a proposal to increase the country’s capacity for monitoring drinking and recreational water in Grenada.
Officials at the head table - Patricia Aquing - Executive Director, CEHI, Mr. Terron Gilchrist, Policy Advisor, Ministry of Health, Tessa Stroude, PAHO
Participants at the start of the Workshop.
Dayrells Rd & Navy Garden, Christ Church, Barbados