The Department for International Development’s (DFID) Infrastructure Adviser, John Bowker, previously visited the St Helena in November 2013. He returned last week for an advisory visit, to finalise the infrastructure business cases and agree a three-year infrastructure plan for SHG going forward to 2017.
John has spent his time on the Island (28 May-5 June) with a busy programme, including meetings with SHG officials, Legislative Councillors and non-government organisations. He has had numerous site visits, including to the landfill site, renewable energy sites, water treatment plants, Lemmon Valley and social healthcare projects. Additionally, meetings have been held to discuss Airport related infrastructure, future maintenance plans and development plans for tourism.
“There has been much progress in the last six months. These can be seen not only in physical infrastructure such as social healthcare, but also in the St Helena Government’s internal procedures and even in the recruitment of staff from the UK. It has been good to see so many capable and enthusiastic people working towards a common goal for the future of St Helena”.
“The Hospital when I last visited was in a poor state of repair, but since then I have seen many improvements, such as refurbished bathrooms, replacement windows and the rationalisation of equipment. The much needed project to refurbish the operating theatre and diagnostic suite is also due to start soon”.
John also visited the new Challenging Behaviour Unit (CBU) site in Half Tree Hollow and is pleased with the progress being made. He commented:
“The existing CBU does not provide adequate conditions for those that live there. The new site, which is purpose built, is in a great location with a terrific sea view, better living conditions and sufficient space for the occupants to be properly cared for”.
John also said that St Helena can expect improvements in water testing, treatment and supply to all areas. Sewage treatment plants will also be introduced in the next two years. Many other projects in preparation for the Airport opening will also be carried out, including the development of Rupert’s Wharf and improvements to Field Road and Side Path.
John will produce a report summarising his visit and an action plan with recommendations for St Helena Government. The long term focus is also to shift from immediate and reactive capital projects to more emphasis on maintenance of assets to ensure longevity.
A photograph accompanies this release.
6 June 2014