Water conference gets under way in The Bahamas
Petre Williams-Raynor, Contributing Editor
PARADISE ISLAND, The Bahamas:
SOME 300 registered delegates, among them government ministers, have converged on this resort island to discuss, among other things, water and wastewater solutions, in the interest of a more secure climate future for the Caribbean.
This, on the occasion of the 23rd annual Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA) Conference and Exhibition being staged at the Atlantis Resort.
The week-long conference is being held under the theme 'Water, Waste and Energy'.
The event had its official opening on Monday night, with a ceremony that served as a call to order for participants to, through meaningful engagement, come up with approaches that can serve a Caribbean under threat from rising sea levels, warmer temperatures and more extreme weather events - all courtesy of a changing climate.
"This conference promises to provide a platform for all professionals practicing in the sector, especially those in the Caribbean, to share experiences, new research and ideas related to the linkages between water supply, energy efficiency, wastewater management, and energy production," said CWWA president Lennox O'Reilly Lewis.
To that end, on the agenda over the next few days is a high-level session of water ministers who will discuss policy challenges facing the water sector due to climate change and a Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation workshop on 'Water, Climate Change and Health'.
"I encourage you all to parti-cipate fully in this year's proceedings... The opportunities for business, for networking, for learning from each other is almost limitless," urged Lewis.
"We (CWWA) have done our part by bringing you together and setting the stage. While we encourage you to enjoy The Bahamas ... we should not forget the real reason we are here and try to find ways to improve the lives of Caribbean people," he added.
Bahamian Prime Minister Perry Christie supported him in his call.
"All of the many small nations in the region acknow-ledge the challenges that water, waste and energy present to us, and the association, by organising this conference, provides us with an ideal opportunity to share experiences and strategies to resolve common problems and improve living standards in each and every island," he said in his official published message.