Linden water situation should improve by today
Baksh visits to assess problem
Stabroek News
February 8, 2003

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Minister of Housing and Water, Shaik Baksh, travelled to Linden on Thursday for a first-hand look at the water problems besetting residents of Wismar, Linden and said the situation should improve by today.

The minister said he learnt that there was a water crisis in Linden through the media hence his visit to the town.

The minister said that the root of the water problem is the Wisroc Water Treatment Plant.

“Since GUYWA took over water in Linden in October 2001, we took over a dilapidated structure about to collapse. We expended over $50M so far to upgrade the system there and intend to accelerate in 2003.” GUYWA has since been merged with the Georgetown Sewerage and Water Commissioners to form Guyana Water Inc.

Baksh noted that some 2-3 weeks ago one of the main pumps at the Wisroc Plant collapsed and was under repairs. He said that pump has been repaired and based on the advice of his technical officers it should be up and running by today.

Stabroek News understands that in order for the system to run smoothly it is necessary for a back-up pump to be in place and one is not in place.

The minister explained that the back-up pump has been out of operation for some time now and promised to speed up the purchasing of the necessary spare parts for the pump.

He pointed out that the water woes of the community also hinged on the poor electricity supply.

In an effort to ensure that residents get some measure of relief the minister said that the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) will be transporting water to the affected areas. Additionally, through his office, two trailers will be sent to Linden from Georgetown to assist in this process and Central Government will stand the expense for these exercises.

Classes at the Wismar Christianburg Secondary School have been suspended by the school’s PTA since Tuesday because toilets cannot be flushed and the building cannot be properly cleaned. As a result toilets are overflowing with filth and the stench in the building is unbearable. On Wednesday, teachers resorted to fetching water from a spring two miles away to aid in cleaning the school’s auditorium in order to facilitate classes for CXC students.

When the problem developed some two weeks ago, the Department of Education in conjunction with the RDC, the Mayor & Town Council and the LINMINE Fire Department, transported water to the school but this had little impact. The situation is the same across at the St Aidan’s Primary School and at the Upper Demerara Hospital Complex.

The minister described the situation at the Secondary School as desperate and hoped that the temporary measures put in place would bring relief to the school, the Wismar hospital complex and other affected areas.

Baksh also noted that when the Treatment Plant is back in operation the service will not be good but fair until new pumps are purchased and the plant properly rehabilitated. For the service to be good it is necessary for the overhead storage tank at Wismar to be reactivated to supply the Blueberry Hill and Block 22 areas.

Rehabilitation work is expected to be finished before the end of the year.

Many residents said that they will not be paying for water supply in Linden until the service and quality of water received through their taps are deemed adequate. However, the minister is calling on residents to honour their obligations, noting that cost recovery is an important factor in ensuring that the service is improved and that the water supply is regular. (Cathy Wilson)

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