$140M slated for housing & water improvement on East Bank corridor

The Government will be injecting over $140 million into the housing and water sector on the East Bank of Demerara (EBD) this year.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Housing and Water, there will be substantial improvements in the supply of water to the residents on the East Bank corridor with the drilling of new wells and rehabilitation works.

During a tour of facilities operated by GWI on the East Bank corridor on Friday, subject Minister Collin Croal noted that the aim is to ensure that persons can commence construction once they are allocated a plot of land which necessitates water supply.

“We have as part of our housing drive the necessity to expand our water supply…It is important because we here at housing encourage persons that once you have your allocation you can commence your construction and we want to ensure that they have the necessary level of service,” the Minister stated.

Further, he said over the past few years, water treatment has been neglected in the area and the plans outlined are expected to increase water pressure and other issues faced by residents.

“It’s not only about putting the wells but also about having the necessary treatment plants…GWI has over 22,000 customer [in] East Bank alone so we’ll have to keep improving the system keep improving the level of work provided,” said Minister Croal.

Minister Croal was accompanied by GWI’s Chief Executive Officer Shaik Baksh; Executive Director of Projects, Mr. Aubrey Roberts; Head of Filed Services (a.g.), Mr. Carlos Rodrigues; Regional Manager, Mr. Orlando Benjamin and several other officials.

Mr. Baksh noted that “what is important is top give them treated water, this is the demand of the our customers and the population and the government has made available monies this year to rehabilitate treatment plants in Eccles – that has been partially completed already and people are receiving water to our health standards – then we go to Grove [and] within another two months by the end of May/June and then also to Prospect.”

He added that the GWI is in full support of the Ministry’s housing drive and wants to ensure there is enough production of water for all the housing development that is taking place this year and next year.

Works have also begun in Providence, where the CEO says GWI is awaiting additional equipment to continue their plans.

CEO further assured that by the end of year residents in Samatta Point and Providence will see substantial improvement in services.

Sites visited included the Grove Water Treatment Plant, Covent Garden Water Treatment Plant, Samatta Point, Kaneville and Grove Housing Scheme, where the Minister and team also interacted with residents.

Site visits were also conducted at a Prospect and Providence, where two new wells will be drilled to provide better water access to residents in the area. With the new wells and rehabilitation works set for the Grove/Diamond Water Treatment Plant and interconnected systems, with tenders for the drilling of the well expected to open in the coming weeks.

Over the next few years, the implementation of a strategic plan crafted by GWI will bring treated water from 52 per cent to at least 90 per cent.