CDB approves financing to upgrade Constitution River in Barbados

Barbados’ urban landscape is set to benefit from another upgrade, through funding of USD $6.88 million approved by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Board of Directors last week. The project, which is financed with the Government of Barbados, will complete the third phase of the upgrade of Constitution River, the primary channel that runs through Bridgetown, the historic capital of Barbados.

Constitution River in Bridgetown, Barbados following the second phase of its upgrade. CDB has approved USD $6.88 million in financing to complete another phase, which will help reduce the incidence of flooding in Bridgetown.

Constitution River in Bridgetown, Barbados following the second phase of its upgrade. CDB has approved USD $6.88 million in financing to complete another phase, which will help reduce the incidence of flooding in Bridgetown.

The CDB loan to Barbados follows earlier investments in the Urban Rehabilitation Project in Barbados, which included initial works on the Constitution River Project. The upgrade will help reduce the incidence of flooding in Bridgetown and help improve public health by reducing the threat of mosquito-borne diseases.

“Flooding and its impact present a threat to the achievement of Barbados’ development goals. The works associated with this project will help reduce flood-related economic losses, prevent wastewater pollution, and improve water quality and public health,” said Andrew Dupigny, Dir. of Projects (Ag), CDB.

The CDB financing includes a technical assistance component that aims to improve the sustainability of the project through the development of a Constitution River maintenance plan and a Climate Vulnerability Assessment of the Constitution River drainage catchment. The Assessment will focus on improving the catchment’s resilience to flooding.

Planned project works include:

· Installation of rock armouring and dredging of approximately 450 metres of the main drainage channel of the Constitution River between the James A. Tudor Roundabout and the Constitution River Bridge

· Upgrading of the main drains connecting to the Constitution River

· Landscape works of the perimeter area and other ancillary works

The Government of Barbados has prioritised addressing flooding challenges on the island and has taken several actions to improve flood mitigation.

The Constitution River Upgrade Project takes into account lessons learned from past CDB-financed flood mitigation interventions, which highlighted the need for adequate maintenance to improve the sustainability of the investment.

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