Close to 100,000 residents can expect a paradigm shift in the quality of water service they receive within 24 months. This was announced on Thursday, October 13 as three contracts were signed for the construction of seven large water plants, to treat water across the coast.
Three contracts, totalling GYD$8.5B were signed under Guyana Water Incorporated’s Coastal Water Treatment Infrastructure Programme, which is part of a bigger vision to provide 90 percent treated water access to the coast by 2025.
Supported by the Government of Guyana through funding, this programme will see the water treatment plants being constructed at Onderneeming in Region 2, Parika, Wales and Lust en Rust in Region 3, Caledonia, Cummings Lodge and Bachelor’s Adventure in Region 4.
Addressing those gathered at the simple signing ceremony, Minister of Housing and Water Hon. Collin Croal stated that while the plan has always been to expand water access and improve level of service, government recognized that lagging behind was the aspect of water treatment.
In order to move towards a satisfactory level of water service, the Minister announced that GYD$30B is being invested in treatment alone, for which programmes have already been initiated.
He said Thursday’s signing represents part of that investment sum and the realization of President Mohamed Irfaan Ali’s commitment to prioritizing the improvement water infrastructure and ultimately water service in Guyana.
Minister Croal added that even as relief will be brought to existing customers, the demand for water will grow as his Ministry continues to fulfill Government’s mandate to allocate 50 thousand house lots. GWI will therefore be required to support these efforts, through the expansion of infrastructure.
He noted that 17 thousand house lots have so far been allotted and need to be catered to, in under two years. In this regard, a new unit within GWI has been established to control the pace at which works need to be done, since GWI’s response has to match government’s housing drive.
The Minister also announced that Cabinet has given its no objection for the upgrade of existing water treatment plants.
Meanwhile, GWI CEO Mr. Shaik Baksh pointed out that the utility’s management was able to coin the business strategy for the water treatment programme in just a matter of five months -significantly ahead of the usual timeline for projects of this nature.
Mr. Baksh said GWI recognizes the concerns surrounding water quality in Guyana and this project symbolizes a massive improvement for the Housing and Water sector.
He welcomed the contractors on board and challenged them to execute their works expeditiously, even as he expressed optimism that this project will be completed within the stipulated timeline of two years.
The CEO explained that as part of GWI’s strategic plan to provide 90 percent treated water coverage by 2025, 12 other existing plants are to be upgraded, while 10 smaller plants are slated to be built. He assured that customers from each Region stand to benefit.
Chairman of GWI’s Board of Directors, Mr. Ramesh Dookhoo expressed his enthusiasm to be associated with yet another progressive project under GWI.
He commended the management and staff of GWI for their efforts in making this project a reality within short span of time, while noting that there is great synchronization between the utility and the Ministry of Housing.
Mr. Dookhoo also noted that he is impressed with track record of the contractors who have been awarded and is depending on them to deliver their best.
The contracts were awarded to three international firms – namely from Hi Pro Ecologicos Mexico, Sigma Engineers Limited from Bangladesh and Toshiba Water Solutions Private Limited from India, following a public tender process. Representatives from each company were present to ink their contracts, as well as GWI Head of the new Water Treatment Infrastructure Unit – Mr. Aubrey Roberts, GWI Procurement Director Mr. Christopher Vandeyar and other Board Directors and Corporate Management members.
Currently, 52 percent of customers across the coast receive treated water from 28 Water treatment plants.