Nelson Island gets solar power and desal plant

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    The National Trust has made Nelson Island a Sustainable Eco-Development through the installation of a solar powered system and desalination plant on the island.

    The power will provide lighting, security systems, data communications, appliances and power outlets.

    And, after years of depending on a boat to periodically bring freshwater to the island, the desal plant driven by solar power will produce all of the potable water required for use on the island.

    Nelson Island is one of a cluster of six small islands called the “Five Islands” located in the Gulf of Paria approximately 2.5 kilometres due south of Chaguaramas


    Nelson Island has had numerous functions within the history of Trinidad.

    Before the 15th century trans-Atlantic contact period, the island was supposedly used as a trading post by the First People groups inhabiting Trinidad and the South American mainland. In the Spanish colonial period, the island was used as a way station between Trinidad and other Spanish possessions on the South American coast. Subsequently, the British initially used Nelson as a quarantine station for vessels hailing from ports under the suspicion of infection. Later, the Islands was used convalescent and repatriation station for newly arrived and ex-indentured Indian Immigrants. In World War Two, the Five Islands formed a part of the Chaguaramas base and served as a naval station for the United States Navy. The island also hosted an internment camp for enemy alien internees from Europe and a detention centre for labour leader Tubal Uriah “Buzz” Butler who was held there for the duration of the war. The island was again used as a detention centre 1970 to house 50 leaders of the Black Power Revolution.

    Presently, Nelson Island functions as a heritage site under the control of the National Trust of Trinidad and Tobago which became a listed Property of Interest in 2019. The islands’ isolation from the mainland has always been a logistical challenge through which this sustainable eco-development project, creates new chapter to its story to demonstrate its resilient independence.