New well station expected to ease Amelia’s Ward water woes

A new Well Station, expected to deliver upgraded water services, was installed yesterday at Amelia’s Ward, Linden.

Housing Minister Irfaan Ali and Regional Chairman Mortimer Mingo unveil the plaque after the commissioning of the new well at Amelia’s Ward yesterday

The $90 million project was funded by the Government of Guyana through the Central Housing and Planning Authority and was executed by the contracting firm Nabi Construction Incorporated. The new well, which is approximately 200 ft, is expected to deliver 150 cubic metres of water per hour to over 5,000 residents of Amelia’s Ward and surrounding areas.

GWI said it has been assured by its Scientific Service Department that the water from the new well is safe for human consumption and routine monitoring will be conducted to ensure that water supplied by the well remains safe.

Housing Minister Irfaan Ali, who commissioned the well, noted at a simple ceremony that the activity marked another accomplishment of the government in transforming the infrastructure of the country. He said that the new facility points to a developmental shift that is occurring across the country. “The creation of infrastructure like these creates a core factor and that factor is to encourage more persons to occupy their house lots…. If over the next six months we have an additional 50 persons who commence construction as a result of this infrastructural development … it means that it would have 50 persons entering the market, who would require sand, stone, cement, carpentry services, labourers etc. Then there is a dynamic linkage between social infrastructural development and the performance of the economy,” Ali noted.

Ali charged residents to ensure that the government delivers and that this can only be done through the working together and sharing of vision, which says that Guyana is on the threshold of economic advancement. “We look at this land and this facility, the delivery of water in Linden would not end at the establishment of this plant. The vision in the delivery of water would end when we meet the highest international standard in the supply and delivery of water,” he declared.

According to Ali, during this year a public consultancy has been organised to look at the master plan for the development of Linden. This, he said, is necessary because many residents have opinions on the way forward for the town. This was alluded to by Regional Chairman Mortimer Mingo during his brief remarks.

He said that during the process of preparing the budget for 2010, some strategic analyses were done specific to Linden.  It was noted that between 2006 and 2009, more than $600 million were spent on housing in Region 10 outside of the regional budget, while more than 26 km of roads would have serviced more than 5,235 house lots, bringing benefit to more than 21,500 persons.

Under the low income housing programme, Ali said, the government plans to invest within the next two years more than $620 million in housing development in Region 10. He said that in the 2010 budget there is more than $378 million earmarked for infrastructural development under housing. In this regard, the Amelia’s Ward Phase Three project was highlighted, as it is expected to see the creation of more than 1,000 house lots.

It was noted that last year, government spent more than $163 million on water development in Linden, in part for the start of work on the new well.  The sum would have completed the installation of the transmission interlink at Amelia’s Ward.

Additionally, a survey was conducted in February 2010 to give the water company a real feel of what were residents’ thoughts. A summary showed that on the question of the service offered, 80% of residents said that the service was adequate.

Stabroek News spoke with several residents who were present at the ceremony and their opinions proved otherwise. They complained bitterly of the poor rationing system that they have been experiencing over the years. They said that because of the rapid development that has taken place in the area, the old well was insufficient to carry the load. They claimed that on numerous occasions the ailing plant malfunctioned, adding to their water woes. Nonetheless, they were confident that the situation would improve with the installation of the new well.  Everyone said that while tests of the water system were being carried out during the construction of the new well, water pressure and quality to their homes were significantly improved.

Another group said that they were force to delay construction of their homes due to the lack of water. Divisional Manager Rawle Friday urged residents to care, conserve and protect the new and existing systems, since the investment has been great. He also noted that residents need to get into paying their water bills, in order to encourage further development and upkeep of the existing services.

Meanwhile, Mingo said that the new facility will spark new life in the area as it would empower persons to move ahead with the construction of their homes, which was hampered by the absence of some key infrastructure.

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