Coastal residents to get treated water through new $118M plan

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Thousands of residents who live along the coast are expected to benefit from treated water for their daily use through a new $118 million plan from the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) that is in the works.

This was revealed by Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo on Monday during a press conference held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre at Liliendaal, Georgetown.

While talking up the government’s expanded Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), Dr Jagdeo mentioned that the government also has a specific water sector strategy that is more than 400 pages long. But, much of this plan was not included in the draft expanded LCDS.

For context, the LCDS is an ambitious new development plan centered on making money by saving the forest and creating solutions to the climate crisis while pursuing a prolific oil and gas industry. And, the draft strategy which is expected to be finalised after adequate consultations is currently 110 pages long.

But Dr Jagdeo revealed that the government was already planning for a new US $118 million water-treatment project that would allow residents living along the coast to benefit from a better quality of water. This project would see 11 treatment plants, 13 in-line improvement facilities and a network of transmission mains being built out over the next five years.

Similar efforts would be undertaken in the hinterland regions, too, according to the Vice- President.

“….we are running parallel to the planning process by implementing,” Dr. Jagdeo said, noting that this project was discussed as the government started its preparations for the 2022 National budget.

Earlier this year, Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Water Incorporated Sheik Baksh told the News Room that enhancements to various water treatment plants were expected throughout the year.

Baksh has also noted that GWI has an overall plan to provide 80 per cent access to treated water by the year 2025 in accordance with the World Health Organization (WHO) standard of 0.3 milligrams per litres of iron content or less.

Ninety-six per cent of the country’s population has access to water, but the treated water coverage in accordance with the WHO standard is just 52 per cent out of 27 water plants overall.

And so, the Vice President’s announcement is in keeping with previously mentioned commitments to make provisions for new water treatment plants and to enhance and enlarge the transmission and distribution network to amplify coverage from existing treatment plans.

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