Almost $20B to provide treated water to 90% of population -Min. Croal

−CDB funding secured for water treatment plants

Minister of Housing and Water Hon. Collin Croal says the PPP/C Government’s plan to expand treated water coverage to 90 per cent of the population during this term will cost some $19.8 billion (US$99 million).  

The treated water coverage is currently 52 per cent. That expansion will require the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) to construct several new water treatment plants, improve the distribution networks, and install water meters. 

Minister of Housing and Water, Hon Collin Croal and Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Water Incorporated, Mr. Shaik Baksh during a recent tour of GWI’s East Bank Demerara water facilities

Appearing on the ‘Morning Rush’ programme on Kaieteur Radio on Tuesday, Minister Croal disclosed that Guyana has already secured funding from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) to commence the construction of the treatment plants. 

“We have secured funding through the CDB to start with some treatment plants that will commence next year. Another $75 million or so, we are looking at programming through the Ministry of Finance to ensure that this is done, and as I said, we are committing to having this done within our five years,” Minister Croal said. 

Minister Croal said the old pipes along Church Street and Vlissengen Road, Georgetown need to be replaced to improve the distribution networks. That project will start this year.

“You can easily turn up the pressure at Shelterbelt, but it will be counterproductive because we may very well have a rupture somewhere because those old pipes cannot handle the level of the pressure. So, that has to be changed, and that will be a costly venture, but we are committed to commence changing those, and that is for Georgetown.” 

Part of the GWI programme will be installing meters to monitor consumption, control demand and increase revenue. That process has started. 

Minister Croal explained that these initiatives form part of GWI’s five-year strategic plan and are in keeping with the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Six – Access to clean water.

Currently, 96 per cent of Guyana’s population has access to water. However, the treated water coverage that meets the World Health Organization standard is 52 per cent from 27 water treatment plants.