$100.5B approved to advance water, housing sectors
The National Assembly approved a budget of $100.5 billion for advancing the water and housing sector following deliberations by the Committee of Supply on the Budget 2024 estimates and expenditures on Wednesday evening.
A sum of $76.517 billion was specifically earmarked for housing development, with $69.317 billion allocated for highways, including projects such as Eccles to Diamond, Great Diamond, Meer – Zorgen to Schoonord, Schoonord to Crane, and Great Diamond to Craig.
The allocation also covers infrastructural works, such as the construction of roads, bridges, water distribution, electrical networks, and land preparation in both new and existing housing areas.
Opposition Member of Parliament Annette Ferguson inquired about provisions in this year’s budget for the continuation of the Eccles Landfill Road. Minister Croal confirmed that provisions were indeed made for that project.
Additionally, $304 million has been allocated for the completion of the new Housing Ministry office in Houston, East Bank Demerara.
MP Ferguson questioned the progress of the construction from the previous year. In response, Minister Croal clarified that the building is a four-story structure, and significant work, including pile driving, has already been undertaken. The additional funds will be utilised to conclude the project.
Under the category of water Service expansion and management, $20.57 billion was approved for several projects to be executed in 2024.
These initiatives include the construction of Water Treatment Plants in various areas, such as Walton Hall to Charity, Leguan, Wakenaam, Bush Lot, and Tain to No. 50 Village, amounting to $3.520 billion.
The allocated funds also cover provisions for water treatment plant conveyance from Hope Canal, transmission mains, the non-revenue water action plan, smart wells, and institutional strengthening.
A sum of $1.5 billion will be dedicated to the hinterland water supply program, which includes provisions for well drilling materials, solar photovoltaic systems, electromechanical equipment, pipes, fittings, spares, and accessories for water supply systems. Additionally, funds will be utilized for the construction of new wells and water supply systems.
Regarding coastal water supply, $14 billion will be allocated for water supply system intake and the completion of the well at Lima, along with water treatment plants in Regions Two, Three, Four, Five, and Six.