90 per cent water coverage to housing areas achieved Ė Minister Baksh
Guyana Chronicle
January 4, 2004

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(GINA) - WORK in the Water sector has progressed significantly during the past year resulting in about 90 percent coverage to housing areas countrywide.

The Minister of Housing and Water Shaik Baksh provided an update on works in this sector during a recent media conference at the GTV -11 Studios, Homestretch Avenue, Georgetown.

Minister Baksh noted that the major water projects have been completed. These include the la Bonne Intention, Eccles and Bartica water treatment plants.

The major water projects at Rose Hall, Region Six (East Berbice/ Corentyne) and Pouderoyen, Region Three (West Demerara/ Essequibo Islands) have been completed.

The Rose Hall water project was constructed at a cost of $1.3 billion, with funding from the European Union (EU) and the Government of Guyana. About 60,000 consumers are benefiting from the project, which entailed the construction of a treatment plant, distribution and transmission systems and storage facilities.

The Pouderoyen project provides water for about 40,000 people in West Demerara. The European Union (EU) funded the project at a cost of $1.2 billion. The project included the rehabilitation of treatment plants, storage facilities, and the installation of new transmission and distribution systems.

The pump at Mon Repos was replaced to provide residents with an enhanced service. The areas benefiting form the Mon Repos Water Treatment Plant include Vryheidís Lust, Good Hope, Pigeon Island, Bare Root, Bachelorís Adventure and Mon Repos.

Works commenced on the installation of new pipelines and new transmission lines at Blueberry Hill, Linden in September. The contract was awarded at $14 million and funding is being provided through at $200 million European Union grant.

The Minister noted that not much work was effected in the Hinterland area, and, through the HPIC initiative, US$3.5 million will be spent in several areas. He pointed out that in order to access the fund, a strategy document was completed and sent for approval.

Areas in Georgetown slated for works in 2004 include South Ruimveldt Gardens, Lamaha Gardens, Prashad Nagar, West Ruimveldt and Campbellville. The Ministry also has plans to establish iron removal plants at Sophia and Central Ruimveldt.

A customer charter will be posted in public places and water action committees will be set up in 2004. The committees will work to ensure that a steady supply is provided for residents.

Additionally, the benchmarks included in the management contract for Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) will be implemented in 2004 along with the assessment of the management operation. The benchmarks include the reduction of water losses, faster response time and improved collection of water rates.

Meanwhile, GWI has submitted a proposal for tariff adjustments, which will be considered this year.

Due to the collapse in the management contract in the electricity sector, the Un-served Areas Electrification Programme was brought to a halt, but Minister Baksh said that a new initiative is being formulated between the Ministry and the Prime Minsterís Office.

This initiative will see residents contributing to the provision of electricity in their areas. Minister Baksh stated that so far, residents from about 25 areas have come forward and expressed willingness to contribute to their electricity supply.

A paper will be formulated shortly and sent to Cabinet for approval.