President Bharrat Jagdeo on Friday commissioned a $400 million water treatment plant at Cotton Tree which was once an area most affected by water shortages.
The plant, according to a Government Information Agency (GINA), is capable of supplying 15,000 residents with clean and safe water. This project was jointly funded by the government and the World Bank which contributed the significant portion after it had indicated in 2003 its intention to finance a water supply intervention.
A technical study and a feasibility study were conducted by the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) in 2004 and construction commenced the following year after the contract was awarded to UEM Inc; a Trinidad and Tobago company. However, most of the civil works were done by local company Home Designs and Engineering (HDE). HDE is also currently undertaking the construction of the Queenstown water treatment plant.
The Cotton Tree plant, GINA further reported; “draws raw water from the Rosignol pump station which enters a new transmission main then to the retention tank where it is settled and oxidized.
The water is then filtered and purified in accordance with the World Health Organisation (WHO) standards.” The sand filtration system – one of the most modern – was installed in the plant.
Minister of Housing and Water Irfaan Ali said the plant’s storage capacity is equivalent to approximately “800 black Rotoplastic water tanks”.
He pointed out that this year will see six water treatment plants completed across the country.
Meanwhile, Jagdeo said the initiative demonstrates progress and gave the assurance that government will continue to invest in the welfare of citizens. Water, according to the President, is a very important resource, of which it is predicted, there will be shortages around the world in the future.
Potable water is very expensive, Jagdeo noted, and will continue to take a central role in government in the future. He urged that this resource should not be wasted. Jagdeo described Berbice as the hub of a development pole and said the commissioning of the Cotton Tree plant is one of many outcomes of longstanding efforts to restore the economy from a bankrupt state to one of financial viability.
Region Five Chairman Harrinarine Baldeo; World Bank Country Representative Giorgio Valentini; Project Manager of the Capital Investment and Planning Unit of the GWI Ramchand Jailal also joined the West Bank Berbice community for the commissioning.