Under a $471 million project, 16 communities across six regions will receive electricity by early December, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) Lelon Saul announced yesterday.
Those communities named are Onderneeming, on the Essequibo Coast (Region 2); Zeelugt on the East Bank of Essequibo and Lust-en-Rust on the West Bank of Demerara (Region 3); Farm, Covent Garden, Diamond, Eccles, Perseverance, Barnwell and Peters Hall, all on the East Bank of Demerara (Region 4); Paradise and Enmore, on the East Coast of Demerara (Region 4); Hope/Experiment and Balthyock on the West Coast Berbice (Region 5); Kilcoy/Chesney on the Corentyne (Region 6) and sections of Bartica (Region 7).
Saul related that some of these communities have been without electricity for as long as five years, but advised that the CH&PA’s infrastructural development is done incrementally. While he could not say how many of the communities that fall under the ambit of the CH&PA are left to be powered, he noted that progress is being made. “We are getting there and we will address all of those things. It is not our desire that people should live in darkness,” he stated.
He noted that it is the role of the CH&PA to provide basic amenities for the communities they develop, and so while the Guyana Power and Light Inc (GPL) is responsible for the supply of electricity, it is the CH&PA’s role to build the infrastructure.
Saul, who gave the briefing during a press conference at the CH&PA yesterday, said that more than 38,000 people stand to benefit from the project, which will see residents in those communities having access to electricity by the beginning of December.
The project consists of three components, the first being the procurement of the hardware; the second, the procurement of the wallaba poles; and the third, the procurement of works.
Saul explained that there are six contracts for the first component, which includes sourcing the electrical lines, transformers, and conductors. He further stated that the electrical lines and materials will be sourced from China, and that a 30% mobilisation payment had already been made. Those items are expected to be delivered by the end of October.
The transformers are being sourced from Remel, a company located in Colombia, which has also reportedly received a 30% mobilisation payment and the transformers should be delivered by the end of September.
The conductors should also be received by September’s end, after being sourced from local company Dynamic Engineering and Trinidad and Tobago-based firm, Power-lite, and a 30% mobilisation fee paid.
The CEO said there are 15 contracts for the Wallaba poles as there are 15 lots, and that those should also be delivered by the end of September although its supply was delayed by six weeks as they awaited approval by Cabinet. The contracts are currently being prepared and the 30% mobilisation fee will be paid later this month.
For the “procurement of works” component, based on a memorandum of understanding between the entity and the Guyana Power and Light (GPL), only those pre-qualified as electrical contractors will be eligible.
Responding to a question raised about the entity’s concerns surrounding the vandalism of its electrical network, Saul related that the CH&PA is currently recruiting rangers to help curb the abuse of resources that has occurred in the past, and that hardware components will carry markings for identification.
Furthermore, he shed light on expenses incurred due to general infrastructural damage, relating that the entity now has a $40 million liability for rehabilitation of the water network on the East Bank, owing to acts of vandalism.
It was also stated that the CH&PA plans to roll out a minimum of 5,000 housing solutions over the next 36 months, including service lots and built units.