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