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UN Volunteers to improve public facilities in Trinidad & Tobago
20 October 2004

Port of Spain: Eight United Nations Volunteers consisting of six civil engineers, an electrical engineer and a quantity surveyor are to provide much needed professional skills to support the Division of Infrastructure and Public Utilities.

The eight were recruited for an initial period of one year under the United National Development Programme (UNDP) and its UN Volunteer Programme. They will complement the existing core of professional staff in the Division.

Four of the Volunteers are already in the island and the remaining four would arrive later this month. The four were presented at a reception at the Works Division to Chief Secretary Orville London and Infrastructure Secretary Hilton Sandy on Tuesday.

In keeping with the UNV commitment, the Volunteers will focus on activities, which reduce poverty, helping to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which are a set of time-bound and measurable goals and targets to combat poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation and discrimination against women.

The engineers will support the execution of several Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) and Inter American Development Bank (IDB) assisted projects that focus on improving the infrastructure and public utilities of Tobago.

The projects include:

  • Completion of designs for improvement and extension of the Crown Point airport;
  • Extension of the Scarborough Deep Water Harbour;
  • Improvement of the water supply to Friends Field and the Dwight Yorke Stadium, and upgrading of the transmission system in the area;
  • Construction and upgrade of community centres in Glamorgan, Jubilee Park, Mt St George, Argyle, Lambeau, Patience Hill, Mt Grace, Signal Hill, Les Coteaux, Castara, Speyside, Whim and Delaford;
  • Construction of the new Scarborough Regional Hospital under the IDB-assisted Health Sector Reform Programme;
  • Infrastructure development targeting the construction of housing estates at Roxborough, Blenheim and Castara; and
  • Construction of roads and bridges under the IDB-assisted National Highways Programme.

Commenting on the programme, Chief Secretary Orville London said: "The THA is anxious to work with UNDP on this timely UNV project, especially in the light of the additional challenges brought on by Hurricane Ivan in Tobago."

UNDP Resident Representative Dr Inyang Ebong-Harstrup indicated that she was very pleased with this collaboration with the THA since the project will indeed be "characterised by the spirit of solidarity, cultural sensitivity and capacity building embodied in the volunteer ethic". UNDP Administrator Mark Malloch Brown reassured that "UN Volunteers continue to demonstrate their immense value as true partners in achieving the MDGs".

From: Tobago News