Foreigners contracted to water project to be protected By Oscar P. Clarke
Stabroek News
April 17, 2003

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Security arrangements for foreign contract workers on the La Bonne Intention (LBI) Water Improvement Project are to be addressed in the coming days with the possibility of a private firm being hired.

Measures for the protection of the workers, according to Director of Corporate Services, Guyana Water Inc (GWI), Peter Styles, were discussed during a meeting between company officials, contractors and supervising engineers yesterday.

Although not being in a position to divulge details of the measures for fear of prejudicing their effectiveness, Styles told Stabroek News that they basically would be of a static and mobile nature.

He pointed out that any extra cost for security would result in less being spent on the water sector including improvements in the targeted area.

He further stressed that the inability of the GWI to complete improvements to the system was affecting water services to several East Coast Demerara (ECD) communities including those of Buxton, Friendship and Annandale. The $1B Caribbean Development Bank (CDB)-funded scheme is aimed at bringing improved water services to residents between Industry and Victoria and according to GWI is around 90% completed.

According to Styles, a meeting between Ministers of Housing and Water Shaik Baksh and Home Affairs, Ronald Gajraj was expected to deal with the general security issue.

Meanwhile work on the project, which was stopped as a result of the kidnapping of the two Trinidadians, is likely to restart after Easter.

Contractors at yesterday’s meeting had also expressed concern over payments for the days they had been unable to work on the project and they were concerned that they could suffer penalties for not completing the work on time.

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