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IDB lends US$120m to fix PoS flooding

Friday, December 6, 2013

T&T will minimise impacts from the lack of, or insufficient, urban drainage infrastructure in Port-of-Spain through a US$120 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), 



The bank said in a statement yesterday: “T&T is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, which is aggravated by high population density and economic pressure on coastal areas. Flooding in both urban and rural areas is a frequent occurrence, leading to substantial losses of property, agriculture, human health and detriment to Trinidadians’ quality of life,.” The economic damage caused by floods in the targeted project area is estimated at US$11.6 million, the IDB said. 



The IDB-financed programme will mitigate flooding events in the city by supporting improvement of catchment management through implementation of drainage infrastructure, such as interceptors, drainage systems, detention ponds and pumping stations.


The programme will also focus on the institutional strengthening of the sector, specifically of the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources. Activities will include all institutional arrangements necessary to support creation of an independent authority working jointly with the ministry to build, operate and maintain all existing and future drainage infrastructure in the country, the Washington-based IDB said.


The programme will also enhance the quality of life within East Port-of-Spain through construction of a 1.4 kilometer linear park as an urban improvement measure. 



Port-of-Spain is one in the first set of cities selected in the IDB’s Emerging Sustainable Cities Initiative (ESCI). By combining the intervention for flood alleviation with amenities of a new urban park, this operation complements the ESCI Action Plan for the city with the improvement of the river and its currently deteriorated surrounding public areas into a more harmonious urban environment.


The IDB loan is composed of US$120 million over 25 years with a five-year grace period and an interest rate based on the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor—the average interest rate estimated by leading banks in London that they would be charged if borrowing from other banks.


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