The National Works Agency (NWA) has acquitted four new front end loaders. These Units will complement the Agency’s aging fleet of small size wheel loaders. The new Units are of the Komatsu WA 380 make with 3.0 cubic metre buckets.

The acquisition of the Units was made possible through funding provided by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). This was done at a cost of $15M each making a total cost of $60M.

The new acquisitions will support both emergency responses and force account projects and is part of an overall programme to better equip the NWA to respond to the infrastructural challenges that are anticipated for the 2009 hurricane season. This is in addition to other regular needs at both the national and parish levels. Already one of the new units is in service in St. Thomas.

It is the first time the NWA is purchasing front end loaders since it was established as an Executive Agency in 2001. The newest of these units in its fleet, which were carries over from the previous Public Works Department (PWD), are about 13 years old.

Minister Henry was on hand to test drive one of the units and commented that he was very pleased with the new acquisitions. He noted that they will increase the Agency’s and by extension, the Ministry’s capacity to deal with disaster situations.

Also on hand to view the new units was Minister of State, Joseph Hibbert. He too was very pleased that the NWA was being strengthened to deal with possible disasters, especially during the hurricane season.