By LEANDRA ROLLE
THE Water and Sewerage Corporation, in partnership with several international groups, yesterday launched its Abaco Sunny Waters project, which aims to solarise and transform Abaco's damaged water systems in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.
The $1.2m initiative will result in the installation a state-of-the-art solar facility that will power water well-fields and pumping stations in the Marsh Harbour area, which is expected to be completed in four months.
Other objectives include the solarisation of Abaco's water sanitation system and the implementation of a school-outreach programme to increase interest in science, which will be conducted in later phases.
Speaking at yesterday's launch and agreement signing, WSC Executive Chairman Adrian Gibson expressed gratitude to the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), Water Mission and The Goodness Tour and other non-profit organisations for their willingness to collaborate with WSC to better transform Abaco's water and sewerage system.
"You are all friends and this is all done in the spirit of friendship and collaboration and we are grateful to have you. Today is a red letter day .. (and) we are fully supportive of these initiatives and we will be closely monitoring their progress," he added.
During his address, he also noted the initiative is a part of the water corporation's ongoing efforts to build more resilient and climate proof water systems in Abaco.
"We are getting up and building stronger and better than before…. The focus of all our rebuilding efforts is to design and construct climate resilient systems and facilities that could withstand future major storms. (Because) it is inevitable with climate change that we will at some point have another storm," he said.
"So, these tanks will be much stronger and will be more resilient."
To date, Mr Gibson added that contracts in excess of $6m have already been issued to help with the rebuilding process in Abaco.
"The corporation has already awarded a contract for a new 1.5m imperial gallon storage tank for this pumping station where we stand today to replace the two existing storage tanks that suffered intensive damage (from Dorian)," he said.
"That contract includes a new 750,000 imperial gallon tank in Treasure Cay and also 125,000 imperial gallon tank for Grand Cay and repairs to the existing Green Turtle Cay storage tank. All of these new tanks are rated for wind bloating in excess of 200 miles per hour."
He continued: "Contracts have also been awarded for new distribution pumps to this pumping station here (in Marsh Harbour) and the corporation is actively working with various NGOs to ensure that new stand-by generators for this pumping station and all the other stations in Abaco are obtained.
"Contract drawings are (also) being finalised for a new pumping station for this compound and we hope to award that contract along with a contract for a new commercial facility for Treasure Cay and other building works in short order."
Discussions for similar projects in other communities in Abaco are currently being carried out, according to the Long Island MP.