CDB approves US$1.3m loan for water sector

-use of Hope Canal to be studied

The Board of Directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved a loan of US$1.3 million ($273m) to assist in upgrading the water sector in Guyana.

A CDB release yesterday said that the funds, provided to the Government of Guyana, will be used to provide consultancy services to develop a national water policy, as well as to provide designs and estimates for the building of water treatment plants and the upgrade of related infrastructure.

“The Government of Guyana is currently seeking to enhance the management of its water resources, as well as increase the availability and access of water to communities. We expect that these funds will be used to provide technically viable solutions for the improvement of water supply to approximately 68,000 people who live along in the coast as well as in the hinterland regions,” said Daniel Best, Director of Projects at CDB.

In laying the groundwork for the construction of water treatment plants and the upgrade of existing facilities, under the Water Sector Enhancement Project, consultants will also  determine the feasibility of using water from the Hope Canal for potable water purposes; prepare a national water policy, and develop recommendations for institutional strengthening.

The release said that for many residents and businesses in the coastal areas of Guyana, water supply is characterized by low water pressure. In addition, the projected impacts of climate change are expected to result in more frequent dry periods, as well as more intense rainfall. The plans for new infrastructure will encompass climate resilient designs.

This phase of the Project is expected to be completed within 18 months, the release said.

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