$4.9 billion allocated for improved water delivery
In an effort to expand potable water coverage and improve water supply infrastructure nationwide, the government has allocated the sum of $4.9 billion to the Ministry of Housing and Water.
In his national budget presentation on Wednesday, Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, M.P, said emphasis will be placed on improved access, enhanced quality of service and on reducing non-revenue water, in keeping with the Guyana Water Incorporated’s (GWI) strategic plan for 2021-2025.
Potable water access
Minister Singh explained that the distribution of clean water to unserved and underserved communities is a priority of the PPP/C Government.
To this end, several interventions were executed including the drilling and construction of new wells at Lusignan and Wakenaam, while the upgrade and expansion of St. Cuthbert’s Mission water supply system was completed and is servicing 700 residents.
The drilling of the new wells located at Chesney and Parika will be completed during the first half of 2022. Notably, Minister Singh said, in 2021, an old well at Parika Backdam that was inoperable for 16 years was rehabilitated and is now providing improved water supply to 15,000 residents who will be receiving a 24-hour supply of water at a height of over 14 feet.
Further, to increase coverage and provide first time access to potable water, several projects were completed in areas including Nismes, Stanleytown, Patentia, Hydronie and Parika Backdam in Region Three; Relief, Yarrowkabra, Grand Sand Road, Success, Bachelor’s Adventure, Unity, Dora, Kuru Kururu, Kairuni and Swan in Region Four; Brahn, Britannia, Number 28, 29 and 30 Villages, Weldaad, Big Biabu and Good Faith in Region Five; Alness, Number 61 and 64 Villages and Crabwood Creek in Region Six.
Additionally, a sum of $410.7 million was expended in 2021 to increase access and improve the water supply systems in several hinterland communities. Works were completed at Katoonarib, Toka, Potarinau, and St. Ignatius in Region Nine; as well as Kamarang and Jawalla in Region Seven, benefitting over 3,000 residents in both Regions. Residents of Chiung Mouth, Region Eight, also accessed potable water for the first time.
In 2022, $394.5 million has been budgeted under the Hinterland Water Supply Programme for new water supply systems at Phillipai, Isseneru, Warwatta and Tasserene in Region Seven, Itabac in Region Eight, as well as Yakarinta and Katoka in Region Nine.
Minister Singh said it is estimated that 70 percent of the hinterland communities will have access to potable water by the end of 2022.
Improving water quality
The provision of $47 million was provided in 2021 for the expansion of water treatment plants at Covent Garden, Grove, Friendship and Vergenoegen to enhance the quality of water to residents and businesses.
The expansion of the Sophia and Eccles water treatment plants is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2022.
“Given the interventions planned for 2022, it is estimated that potable water coverage for the coastland will increase from 96 percent to 98 percent,” Minister Singh noted.
Reducing Non-Revenue Water
A total of 15,340 water meters were installed in 2021 to new and existing service connections to reduce non-revenue water, with 20,000 metres planned for installation in 2022. This, Minister Singh said, will reduce water losses from 67 per cent to 64 per cent by the end of the year.
Further, the upgrading of the transmission lines between Shelterbelt and Lamaha Street, Kitty, was completed including the transfer of 284 service connections from the old network to the new network, as well as the reinstatement of the carriageway to the benefit of approximately 40,000 residents.
Furthermore, the old existing cast iron transmission main will be replaced with new high density polyethylene pipes between Shelterbelt and Water Street to benefit approximately 100,000 people.