Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management Cora van Nieuwenhuizen has officially put the pumping station on the island of Saba into use. The pumping station connects to desalination plant to three storage tanks divided over the island where villagers can get their drinking water. The distribution used to go by truck.

The opening took place on 6 May in the presence of Commissioner Bruce Zagers of Saba (left on top photo). Saba is a Caribbean island that is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands with the official status of a special municipality.

Piped water for villagers

The new pumping station and the storage tanks are part of the project to connect the villages on the island to a distribution system for drinking water. As a result, the residents of Saba no longer have to rely on small trucks to transport the water from the port to their villages.

Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen complimented the community of Saba on the achievement: "It is good to see how hard work is being done to get sufficient, affordable and good drinking water for the residents. I greatly appreciate the people on Saba who have achieved this."

Cheaper drinking water

With the pipe system the costs for drinking water are expected to be more than halved. It not only saves the residents money, it also provides convenience. A huge improvement compared to a few years ago when a navy ship had to come in the dry months to bring drinking water to the island. 

Dry months

In the rainy season, most residents of Saba collect rainwater in their own cellars. However, in the dry seasons additional drinking water is supplied by small trucks that travel daily between the port, where the drinking water is produced from seawater, and the villages. Now the residents can get drinking water easier and faster.

The hospital, the school, the medical school and the government building are directly connected and can pump the water into their own storage basins.

Local contractors

The management and maintenance is carried out by the island itself and the work is done by local contractor Saba Roads with help and advice from Vitens Evides International (VEI). The work is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management is contributing 3 million euros to the drinking water project on Saba.

This news item is based on content originally published on the websites of Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and PublicEntitySaba .