The National Assembly on Monday gave its approval for $21B in supplementary funding to the Ministry of Housing and Water. Of that amount, approximately $4B will be dedicated toward a massive water treatment expansion and upgrade programme.
Fielding queries from his peers, Housing and Water Minister, Collin Croal spoke extensively about the importance of the funding and the extent to which it will improve water supply services in the respective regions.
Croal noted that while the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) has its own laboratory for testing the water quality at each of the 12 water treatment plants countrywide, issues still persist. It was noted that only about 52 percent of the coastland receives treated water.
In light of this, funds are being sought to ensure iron-free water is delivered to residents along the coast of Regions Two (which has the highest iron-to-water content), Three, Four, Five, Six and Seven.
The minister also reminded of the government’s commitment to ensure by 2025, 90 percent of all households receive treated water. To achieve this benchmark, it will cost taxpayers $28B but to get the proverbial ball rolling, a supplementary provision to the tune of $4B was sought for the coastal water programme.
The majority of the $4.2B, $3.8B to be exact, will fund the implementation of seven new treatment plants along with upgrades to the existing 12.
Additionally, Croal said a unit has been set up in GWI to deal specifically with water treatment because of the magnitude of expenditure and work that is expected to be undertaken in under three years. GWI he said has also hired new personnel to deal with the design stage and needed geotechnical investigation for site studies for the treatment plants.
He said too that the supplementary provision totalling $4B will also cater for a number of new wells at Turkeyen and Shelter-Belt for example, provide for additional groundwater resources, upgrade and expand the Linden water treatment plant, and support the removal of century-old piping systems that align the underground contours of the city.