CDB Assesses Beneficiaries of BNTF 10th Cycle

The Basic Needs Trust Fund’s (BNTF) 10th cycle beneficiary assessment procedure has been completed. The assessment was done by a delegation from the Saint Lucia Social Development Fund (SSDF) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). The review exercise is vital, as it assesses the efficiency of several sub-projects island-wide.

The findings were presented to key stakeholders at a consultative forum on April 21, 2023, at the National Skills Development Center (NSDC) at Bisee.

BNTF’s Portfolio Manager at the CDB, George Yearwood, stated that beyond increasing the availability of resources, the BNTF sub-projects are targeted to alleviate the plight of vulnerable and marginalized citizens.

0:47:16 “This BNTF has been around for many years and Saint Lucia has been a beneficiary since 1979. The programme has been enhanced many times to maintain relevance. The program is CDB’s flagship poverty reduction program. The focus is on communities that are low-income and vulnerable.” BNTF Portfolio Manager, CDB, George Yearwood. 0:48:04

The Saint Lucia Social Development Fund (SSDF) commenced the data assessment process in order to forge greater inclusiveness in the design capacity, management and implementation of BNTF sub-projects.

Brandon Antoine is the SSDF’s Deputy Project Manager 0:44:23 “It is important for the BNTF programme to be more inclusive and include beneficiaries in the project design and implementation. This is why we found it fitting to implement a beneficiary assessment tool.” SSDF Deputy Project Manager Brandon Antoine.0:44:40

Beneficiaries must continue to invest in their communities as the success of each sub-project hinges on its capacity to secure funding based on grant proposals received.  However, according to CDB’s statistics, 96% of the beneficiary groups assessed lacked proposal writing expertise and were not registered.

“Our response from the BNTF at CDB is one involving quite a few interventions for this year. One is developing a proposal writing training program in collaboration with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) to get community leaders exposed to proposal writing. We will also be undertaking a community engagement online course for community officials that we are developing in collaboration with the University of Wolverhampton to train community leaders on how to integrate into communities,” notes CDB Community Development Specialist Richardo Aiken. 0:51:26

Acting Director of Social Transformation at the Ministry of Equity Dr. Charmaine Emmanuel expressed gratitude to the Caribbean Development Bank for strengthening the Ministry’s mandate and for their continued support.

0:35:47 “As we forge our efforts towards attaining our goals, we are also mindful that our assignments are in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN, and by that we make specific mention to SDG 4 & 6, which is the provision of water, sanitation, education. So BNTF team, thank you for the continuous support.” 0:36:10 Dr. Charmaine Emmanuel Acting Director in the Ministry of Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment.

The SSDF is one of the principal agencies under the auspices of the Ministry of Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment. Projects under the BNTF 10th cycle will be implemented over the next 18 months, until December 31, 2024.
St. Lucia Social Development Fund (SSDF) and the Water & Sewerage Company (WASCO) have signed an agreement to increase the availability of pipe-borne water to the Choiseul region.
The Victoria Water Supply Expansion Project is intended to alleviate the challenge of potable water scarcity with the installation of a 100,000-gallon glass-fused steel metal water tank at Victoria, Choiseul. This water tank will streamline water availability to households in the communities of Morne Jacques, Belle-Vue, Fond Coco, Matin, Raveneau, Dwadin, Mongouge and other surrounding areas.
The contract for this project was signed at a ceremony on April 17, 2023, at WASCO’s conference room at L’Anse Road, Castries.
The Saint Lucia Social Development Fund Deputy Project Manager Brandon Antoine stated that with the new upgrade to the water supply system, Choiseul residents will now benefit from a constant flow of pipe water.
“We are hoping that with this project and the installation of a 100, 000 Gallon water tank, the required infrastructure, as well as identifying new sources of water catchments, the water woes of these communities would have been eliminated. Currently the water intake for the 50,000-gallon water tank is at Fond St. Jacques. In discussions with WASCO, we were assured that the 100, 000-gallon tank could be accommodated. This new upgrade would indeed benefit the surrounding communities, which will now receive a constant supply of pipe water.” SSDF Deputy Project Manager Brandon Antoine.
CEO of the Water and Sewage Authority Zilta George-Leslie noted that the upgrade would eliminate the situation where consumers would receive water intermittently throughout the week.
“At this time we are very happy about this venture with SSDF. We know that this venture will alleviate the plight of our customers in that area as the benefits of stored water are endless, especially in this time of drought and extreme weather conditions where our supply is usually affected. We would like to thank the SSDF for this partnership and we look forward to more initiatives with the SSDF.”  CEO of WASCO Zilta Leslie.
Choiseul district has traditionally been faced with an unsteady supply of water due to several factors including topography, climate change and the development of the domestic, agricultural and commercial sectors.
The Victoria Water Supply Expansion Project is jointly funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Government of Saint Lucia (GOSL).

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