Dec 27, 2009 News
— target surpassed
By Sharmain Cornette
The installation of almost 20,000 water meters this year has seen the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) easily surpassing its target to install water meters to at least 16,000 customers’ residences. The metering drive was done at a cost of $315M, according to Minister of Housing and Water, Irfaan Ali, and represented approximately 40 percent of the total customer base of the water company.
The accomplishment also represents about 80 percent of the entity’s turnaround plan, Ali added. “In the turnaround plan we had established a benchmark of metering 50 percent of our customers by the end of 2010. We are 10 percent away from that target with the year ahead. So I think we are well on target to meet that aspect of the turnaround plan.”
In terms of non-revenue water, GWI this year was able to complete distribution and transmission network rehabilitation of approximately 100 kilometres of pipelines network. The estimated cost for this aspect of the turnaround plan, Ali said, is in excess of $1.4 billion. He further disclosed that the estimated cost for the rehabilitation of the sewerage system for this year was approximately $502M.
And even as part of the turnaround plan was apace to increase the reliability of the city’s sewerage system, there were some initial setbacks to this achievement. The nullification of the contract with the original supplier of the sewer pumps was cited as the paramount setback.
“You would recall that some time around the first quarter of 2009, a contract was signed for the supply of these pumps… the contractor did not supply so we had to terminate that contract. We subsequently went out to an international tender and we have received, as of last week, six of the pumps, and we are expecting the remainder by mid-January.”
And even in the face of setbacks, Ali noted that 90 percent of what was planned in terms of improving the sewerage system for this year has been achieved. These he listed as the rehabilitation of the Tucville receiving station, procurement of new sewer pumps, the procurement of materials for street sewer rehabilitation and the rehabilitation of 24 sewer pumping stations. With the addition of the new pumps it is expected that the sewerage system will be boosted by at least 50 percent in a matter of months.
However, one of the challenges currently affecting the smooth operation of the system, Ali said, is the enforcement in the management of the system. He cited the infiltration of the system by scrap metal dealers as a major ‘bugbear’. And then there is the abuse and misuse by citizens who have over the year sought to dump garbage in manholes.
“These are all challenges that we are likely to continue to face us in the New Year and we intend to have regulations enforced next year so that we can have some of these persons brought to justice.”
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