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Small Islands Voice: **Water, Water Everywhere ...**
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Page 1 of 1Total of 3 messages
Posted by:May 24th 2005, 09:36:24 pm
MaddieMy hat is off to the Association! Keep up the good work!!!!!!!!!
Posted by:May 24th 2005, 04:44:03 pm
Fig Tree News TeamMay 11, 2005 – 12:04
Quaint Harbour Island Being Overdeveloped, Say Residents

The Association expressed serious concerns about the effect on the already compromised environment, both on land and in the harbour.

Members of the Save Harbour Island Association Ltd. are pulling out all the stops to ensure that large-scale developments proposed for the tranquil island are either discontinued in their present form or significantly downsized.

The association said on Tuesday that developments such as the Valentine's condominium buildings and an upgrade to the Romora Bay Club would result in serious and permanent damage to the island.

The group has retained attorneys Fred Smith and Liz Thompson to make representations to the relevant local and central statutory government bodies, and they are also expected to issue a Judicial Review against the Harbour Island District Council.

The Save Harbour Island Association, Ltd. is comprised of over 150 residents. It is an organization of both Bahamian and foreign residents and property owners who wish to ensure that development on Harbour Island proceeds in a manner which is environmentally sensitive and which preserves the unique heritage of the island as reflected in its architecture and quality of life. It will seek to ensure that development is responsibly planned, small in scale, and respectful of the island's limited resources.

The Association outlined in a statement that it is sad that the endearing qualities of Harbour Island have also made it an attractive development target.

Association members have complained that, "The massive scale of Valentine's condominium buildings and extended marina has permanently destroyed the residential character of the south end of Bay Street.

"The island is now threatened with another over-sized development proposal," the group continued, pointing out that, "Parmenter Realty Partners have purchased the Romora Bay Club, and are proposing to erect 10 buildings with approximately 40 condominiums and a 50-slip marina. The marina dock will cover approximately four acres of harbour (600' x 300') and will be about six times the size of the Government Dock."

The Association expressed serious concerns about the effect on "the already compromised environment, both on land and in the harbour."

According to the Harbour Island Association, the two projects, if completed as planned, would add approximately 88 rental units to the island and would double the current market and add a serious strain on already overburdened services, such as water, electricity, garbage collection and waste disposal.

The approval process for developments of such a size on Harbour Island was seriously flawed, the group maintained,

pointing out that there were no meaningful zoning regulations on the island. There was also very limited opportunity for community input, they said.

"The seven-member Town Planning Council gave 'approval in principle' to the Romora proposal based on what was inadequate information – two crude site plans and an elevation – and in the absence of any information on the project's potential impact on the island in areas such as traffic, water, electricity, garbage, and damage to the environment," the association reported.

In addition to the association's efforts to manage and control development, members said they will act as community watchdogs for local rights and express other concerns of the community in an atmosphere of compassion and understanding for one another and to foster comradeship and mutual respect of, and by all segments of the community.

By: TAMARA McKENZIE, The Nassau Guardian
Posted by:May 4th 2005, 11:08:16 am

Do you live in a small island? Tell us what you think.

The practice of collecting rainwater is carried out in many small islands around the world, yet this is not always an answer to water shortages.

From Rodrigues in the Indian Ocean, Alex Perrine writes: One of our main problems in small island states is the shortage of water. Water is getting rare and thus causing an increase in poverty. I am a social worker and have
participated in a community-based rainwater harvesting project that enables
each household to have a water tank and other accessories to collect water.

This view is echoed by K. Pillay from Seychelles (Indian Ocean): Our view
about water supply in the small islands states is that they must be introduced
to rainwater harvesting. We are facing water cuts now. The rainwater harvesting programme should be subsidised by the United Nations. Many small
islands states are facing economic crises and cannot invest in such programmes
themselves. We request you organise a conference to discuss problems and
solutions to water scarcity.

But as Carol Busby from Cayman Brac (Caribbean) writes, it is first of all
necessary to have the rainwater to collect: I live on Cayman Brac in the
Cayman Islands and we used to rely on rainwater collected in cisterns under
the houses, and on water from wells. In 1989 a reverse osmosis plant was put
in. But I still rely on the rainwater collected in my cistern. However, since
September last year we have not had any significant rain and I have had to buy
water every five weeks from the water plant at a cost of US$ 87 for 2,500
gallons. This is a serious drought and I have lived on Cayman Brac for 14

Mark List, living on a barrier island in Florida (USA), gives a different
perspective: I really enjoyed reading your article on collecting water. It's
been many years since I've had to worry about such things, and yet it should
be foremost in my mind. Water is one of our most important subjects. For us
living in southwest Florida we've lost touch with it because it (water) is so
readily available to us. And yet there is an underlying problem with our
complacency. I produce an island newspaper and I try to educate my readers all
the time about how quickly we are polluting this resource that comes from Lake

And returning now to Fiji, where this discussion topic originated, Solomoni
Biumaiono writes: I would just like to add some comments to the ones made
already. Water in Fiji is not really the problem. We have more than enough
water sources from which we can obtain clean and safe drinking water. The only
problem is the water distribution system that our Government uses to deliver
it to the public. It’s a relic of colonial times when the population in Suva
was below 20,000. Now the population is nearing the 100,000 level, and the
demand placed on these old pipes and mains has worsened the problem resulting
in low water pressure, burst mains and leakage. Another factor that has placed
a huge strain on the water distribution system is the existence of squatter
settlements, which have increased in recent years as the rural to urban
migration continues at an increasing pace compared to the 1980s and 1990s.
However, Government has been upgrading its water system to cater for this
increased demand and has constructed more reservoirs and more water mains. The
problem in Dokaisuva is not a unique one but rather a result of poor planning
over the years but at least things are now underway and Government had
obtained a loan from the Asian Development Bank to ease the water shortages in
the Greater Suva area.

Title: Islanders should never become complacent about water
Author: S. Biumaiono, K. Busby, M. List, A. Perrine, K. Pillay
Date: Tuesday, 3 May 2005

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