The Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) is looking to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for help in improving wastewater management treatment.
Chief Executive Officer of the company, Dr. Richard Van-West Charles said that reducing waste water and its impact is now an important aspect of the water company. The official said that the issue is among those prioritised to be immediately addressed, and that the water company is looking at dipping into the Caribbean Regional Fund for Wastewater Management (CReW,) to cover immediate interventions for treating wastewater.
“We have the Sustainable Development Goal and one of the embarrassing issues for me, and for Guyana is that we have more or less zero treatment of wastewater. So we are now discussing this, as a priority. This has sort of been on the agenda of corporate management team in GWI. We are looking at using some resources from an initiative; CReW which comes out of IDB to begin to look at what we should do immediately with respect to the treatment of wastewater in Guyana,” Dr. Van-West Charles said at a recent press briefing at GWI’s Shelterbelt location.
The IDB set up CReW to test pilot-financing mechanisms which can be used to provide sustainable financing for environmentally sound, and cost-effective wastewater management.
Guyana is already benefitting from the CReW intervention through which the Guyana Wastewater Revolving Fund valued at US$3M was created in 2015. It provides for a private-sector company; Splashmin’s Fun Park and Resort and Madewini Villas, to access financing to construct a wastewater treatment plant for the company’s operations.
Executive Director of Operations, Dwayne Shako said that until the country can build this and other wastewater treatment plants,
nationwide, it must seek to look at immediate alternatives to bring its wastewater management treatment in line with what obtains internationally.
“We cannot continue like we have in Georgetown, where we pump the effluent right out in the river. In terms of our treatment of wastewater we’re not doing well, we are basically behind most of the Latin American countries. We have zero treatment of waste water, so until we build a treatment facility that can treat wastewater that is the only way we would be able to get it right,” Shako said.
At present wastewater treatment is minimal nationwide and as a result, surface water is laden with sewage, particularly in the heavily populated coastal areas. Addressing wastewater management, Van-West Charles said that the water company will also be looking at the way septic tanks are built.
Guyana is among other countries, which have been able to tap into the grant money. The others are Belize, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.
By: Macalia Santos