GWI to improve quality of water supply – engineers being trained
GINA, Guyana, Monday, November 7, 2016
The Guyana Water Incorporated’s (GWI) Water Resource and Treatment Seminar brought together an Expert Water Treatment specialist from Water is our World (WOW) and officials from the Suriname Water company.
The training seeks to share solutions with GWI’s engineers, operators and technicians for improving treated water supply.
The five-day seminar opened today at the Georgetown Club, Camp Street. In attendance were GWI’s Managing Director, Dr. Richard Van West Charles and other senior GWI officials, including Infrastructure Planning and Implementation Director, Ramchand Jailall and from WOW, Chairman and Water Engineer, Casper Ommen and Expert, water treatment, Jacques van Paassen. Paassen is facilitating the training seminar.
According to Dr. Van West Charles, GWI recently concluded a full gap analysis with respect to the capacity of its staff. He said that the seminar is just the beginning in a series of training to target addressing these gaps.
Dr. Van West Charles explained that most of the engineers and technicians that the water company hires come from the University of Guyana (UG) which currently does not offer courses in water engineering and water treatment. “So as we take engineers from the university we must ensure that the engineers are oriented to things such as water engineering, water treatment, and this is where we are moving, in that direction,” Dr. Van West Charles said.
GWI has already begun preliminary discussions with UG to ensure that water engineering and water treatment courses are put on the
curriculum. Further, GWI continues to work with WOW, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA), in terms of building the capacity of its staff, the GWI Managing Director explained.
“We want to move to the point where the operators of our treatment plants will eventually be certified as in North America. At present some go through a course, but we want to have a better certification process for our operators of our treatment plant,” the GWI Director said.
The seminar is also part of the water company’s new aggressive approach to water quality and water quality analysis. Jailall explained that it aims at advancing the water company’s efforts of delivering treated water to its customers, and designing effectively, water treatment plants across the country.
Over the years, GWI has been advancing the construction of water treatment plants, to provide for the supply of treated water across the country. Currently, the company has on average 50 percent of its customers receiving treated water nationally. Jailall explained that GWI is currently in the process of preparing a five-year strategic plan, and forming part of that plan is increasing treated water coverage to 100 percent across the country.
He said that because GWI wants to ensure that it delivers the most efficient, feasible and cost-efficient water treatment facilities, to effectively achieve this 100 percent treated water coverage nationally; the water company has facilitated the training with WOW and the Suriname Water company to build its engineers’ capacity to design and construct these water treatment plants.
WOW is a non-subsidised Dutch foundation, working to realise, recover or improve the state of drinking water and sanitary locations in rural villages and small towns in developing countries. They have completed many projects outside of The Netherlands, in Suriname, Senegal, Indonesia, Vietnam and Mozambique.
Since taking office, the GWI Director has moved to implement a variety and modality of technologies towards improving water quality. Among those are establishing a mini laboratory, the refurbishing of filters and observing the dosage system at the Shelterbelt. The training for the staff is the continuation of this process.
In addition to the five-day training and interaction with the GWI engineers, operators and technicians, the representatives from WOW and the Suriname Water Company will also visit some of the local water treatment facilities.
By: Macalia Santos