Banana Industry Trust Corporation | Cul-De-Sac Valley Reservoir Project
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Cul-De-Sac Valley Reservoir Project


 Cul-de-Sac Irrigation Infrastructure & Reservoir Construction

Two (2) projects, the Cul de Sac Valley Irrigation and Reservoir Projects, were implemented as part of the Special Framework of Assistance (SFA) 1999 Programme managed by the Banana Industry Trust (BIT). The idea of combining two (2) projects with two phases was not unique for Cul de Sac, as the same thing was done in the Roseau Valley. The irrigation system implemented distributed directly from the water source created with the implementation of the reservoir project.

Cul de Sac Valley Irrigation Project

As per the other irrigation projects put into use under this programme the drip system was chosen for its many positive benefits to the farms, the environment and the economy. Again, the French, FARMEX Technologies SARL, were chosen as the contractors on the project for the four hundred and twenty (420) acres supporting seventy (70) farms with a network of 10km of pipes of Off-Farm irrigation infrastructure. The project remained within the allotted budget of EC$1.7million and began in 2002, and was completed in November 2003.

The works were intensive and involved excavation and back filing of trenches for the running of underground water mains and sub-mains, the installation of control heads and the construction of 4ft x 8ft housing structures on each farm in the project area to secure the control heads for the water distribution.

The major works commenced on the 19th May 2002. However, soon after this, the project was temporarily halted due to unforeseen hindrances. A meeting was arranged with some farmers in Cul de Sac as the farmers were seeking compensation for anticipated damages to their bananas during the laying of the pipes. Present at the meeting were ten (10) farmers or their representatives, three (3) members of the IMU, two (2) technical advisors, a representative of FARMEX, the area Agricultural Extension Officer and the Trust’s Executive Officer. The participants were advised about BIT and its role in the implementation of the various irrigation and drainage projects. It was explained that the projects were for the use and benefit of the farmers and that the Programme did not make provisions for compensation. The projects were totally funded by the EU and were being implemented at no cost to the farmers. As such, there would be a small level of loss of banana plants which could be recouped once the pipes were laid. All but one farmer agreed to cooperate with FARMEX in the laying of the pipes without any compensation.


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All utility companies – LUCELEC, Cable and Wireless (currently known as LIME) and WASCO – were contacted to discuss their relevance to and involvement in the project. There were no underground cables, pipes or water mains located in the areas where the pipes were laid. The pipes were laid along the left road shoulder from the Cul de Sac junction to the Odsan Service Station. Land titles were again a small issue but this was eventually resolved. Road works and the rain caused businesses to suffer slightly but once the problem was identified, reparations were made in a timely fashion.


Throughout the project, a list of remedial works were made and later completed:

  1. A pipe trench alongside the main Castries to Vieux Fort road required general backfilling, compaction and tidying up. Special attention needed to be paid to the road and field drains to ensure that all were returned to their original condition. Attention had to be given to the area in front of a small roadside kiosk where drainage water collects and eventually creates large puddles
  2. An access track serving Clifford/ Gadjahar had to be re-installed to remove soft spots. The washout/shed connections were also completed. An air valve was installed on the culvert bridge crossing
  3. Crossing point on clay products road needed immediate reinstatement with a suitable graded road base material, properly compacted in layers not exceeding 150mm. The final surface was left slightly higher than adjacent road level to allow for further settlement
    • Road drain had to be reinstated and trench tidied up
    • Drains were re-instated to ensure that drainage flows to river
  4. Second crossing of clay products access road needed immediate re-instatement as in #3 above. Additional measures had to be taken to retain the road’s edges. A shallow road gully needed to be re-connected to main field drain (currently blocked by excavated material). The air valve and gate was installed on the washout riser adjacent to road
  5. The air valve and gate valve was installed on washout riser adjacent to the track, with a protective cage installed.

Cul de Sac Valley Reservoir Project

With an EC$3.8 million budget, a 12 million gallon reservoir (54,000m3) with an Intake dam was constructed in the Cul de Sac Valley. The project was the erection of the butyl lined reservoir, installation of 2200 metres of 630mm PVC gravity feed pipeline from the downstream the confluence of the Soufriere and Cul de Sac rivers to the reservoir site and the construction of an abstraction structure, including a temporary sand bag dam. The laying of the gravity pipe required the excavation of trenches along the Deglos road shoulder (opposite the WASCO pipe) and across some farms. It was a resounding success.

The contractor on the project was Hippolyte Equipment Services Ltd from Saint Lucia, while the ancillary works were done by Phoenix Construction Co. Ltd. They had been awarded the contract as a joint venture. Land was attained by Government of Saint Lucia, through the Ministry of Planning, Development, the Environment and Housing in May 2002. The work officially began shortly after that of the Irrigation Infrastructure in July 2002 and the project was completed in July 2003.


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Throughout the laying pipelines, culvert crossings, and road reinstatement detailed progress reports, decision making processes and the pros and cons were provided and explained by the contractors. Due to delays with land acquisition, the construction phase of the project commenced at the onset of the rainy season. At times, due to weather conditions and the proximity of the pipe route to WASCO main pipelines, progress on the pipe laying activities was slow and caused major disruption to farmers’ access routes, particularly on banana cutting days. The contractor was therefore required to provide additional labour to the farmers to carry fruit and boxes from the farms disrupted by the site operations. There was full cooperation by the farmerswith the contractor during the construction period.