Water sector gets $2.5B in budget

Several communities across the country may have more convenient access to purified water if government’s allocation of $2.5 billion to the sector is approved.

During the presentation of the 2014 budget on Monday, Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh unveiled the provision which he said will be used to drill, construct and complete wells in several communities.

These communities include Hope, Sparendaam and Mon Repos on the East Coast of Demerara, and Sophia.

The money will also finance the construction of a water clarifier and filter at Bartica and Eccles.

Additionally, service connections in East Berbice and Linden will be upgraded and transmission and distribution mains will be installed in areas such as Vergenoegen, Victoria, Crabwood Creek, Angoy’s Avenue, and Bartica.

“Further, the two water treatment plants at Wisroc and Amelia’s Ward will be completed, benefitting more than 30,000 residents in Region No.10,” Singh said.

Continuing, he an-nounced that work will be done to improve the supply of water to hinterland   communities including Waikerabi, Santa Rosa, Arau, Taruka, Kanapang, Kathur, Aishalton and St. Ignatius, benefitting ap-proximately 20,000 residents. Singh said that government spent $2.4 billion carrying out similar works last year.

He said that the investment allowed government to facilitate the construction of two new water treatment plants, install over 30 kilometers of transmission and distribution mains, and upgrade 1,500 service connections in Linden. Meantime, exploratory drilling work was done in Mabaruma, transmission and distribution mains were installed in Regions 3, 4 and 6, and $160 million was spent on the “Hinterland Water Supply Programme.”

High electricity costs continue to be a bane of the existence of the water company.

According to the minister, electricity charges constitute 60 percent of production costs. In light of this reality, Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI), having completed a “comprehensive energy audit,” will move to implement initiatives which seek to replace and re-engineer the electro-mechanical features of its pumps and other equipment to bring the equipment in line with modern energy efficient technologies.

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