By MORGAN ADDERLEY
Tribune Staff Reporter
WATER and Sewerage Corporation Executive Chairman Adrian Gibson on Wednesday invited bids for a project that will provide access to quality water supply systems in north Long Island and Crooked Island.
This is the latest prong of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Water Supply Improvement Project, which is funded by a $28.33m loan from the bank and $13.3m in funding from the Bahamas government.
Mr Gibson made this announcement during a press conference held at the WSC headquarters with MICAL MP Miriam Emmanuel.
“I am pleased to announce that the invitation for bid has been issued for both Crooked Island and north Long Island, with works commencing on the ground in 2019,” Mr Gibson said. “We plan to consecutively execute both projects.”
Mr Gibson said the North Long Island Project focuses on “the supply and installation of approximately 13 miles of water mains and approximately 180 service connections”.
Mr Gibson estimated 540 residents will be affected.
In May, a contract was signed between the WSC and BHM Company Limited to bring potable water to hundreds of residents in Long Island.
At the time, Mr Gibson said: “Today, many Long Islanders are served via water tanker or forced to rely on ground water supplies where the quality of the water is questionable and the reliability of the supply is adversely affected during hurricanes, due to power failures and storm surges that bring the seawater inland, directly contaminating the freshwater aquifer," he said.
The $5.3m contract with BHM involves the installation of 100,000 feet of pipe in two areas of Long Island, which are divided in "lots".
Mr Gibson noted then that a separate contract would be used to extend the water supply system to other areas of Long Island.
On Wednesday, he discussed these additional areas as lots three and four.
Mr Gibson said Lot three focuses on Millerton, Bunches, Deals, Scrub Hill, Simms and Doctors Creek settlement.
“The works will include the supply and installation of approximately 22,000 feet of 4-inch C900 water mains and 5,500 feet of 2-inch water mains and 80 service connections.”
Lot four focuses on Doctors Creek, Bains, Morris’ and Wemyss settlements.
“These works will include the supply and installation of approximately 15,000 feet of four-inch C900 water mains and 25,000 feet of 2-inch water mains and 100 service connections.”
“The expected duration of the works are approximately 12 months.”
Regarding Crooked Island, Mr Gibson said this project will include the supply and installation of approximately 5 miles of water mains and approximately 83 service connections.
“Let me note, the Corporation, following that, will go out to tender for a RO plant,” Mr Gibson added.
Settlements will include Church Grove, Cabbage Hill, Timothy Thompson and Colonel Hill where 250 residents will be affected.
Mr Gibson added that on this island, the project will be executed in a single lot.
“The works include the (supply and) installation of water/transmission distribution systems in the western end of the Church Grove settlement and proceeding northeast through the settlement of Cabbage Hill, ending at Timothy Thompson settlement and proceeding southeast through the settlements of Colonel Hill, ending at the intersection of Queen’s Highway and Pond Road.
“The works include the design, supply, and installation of approximately 2500 feet of 6-inch water mains, 16,5000 feet of 4-inch water mains and 5,700 feet of 2-inch water mains and about 83 service connections… Works also include the design, supply and construction of an RO access road…inclusive of a drainage system.”
He added that the expected duration of the works is also about 12 months.
“A week ago we went to tender, and the invitation to bid has been running in all of the major newspapers as of the 31st of December.”
Mr Gibson said works will start on the ground in 2019 and that the WSC plans to consecutively execute both projects.
He added that the project will also include the expansion of the existing Simms’ Desalination Plant and the supply of additional water storage facilities “to ensure that the plant can produce sufficient potable water to meet the needs of all…residences and businesses in the affected areas on a 24/7 basis”.
Mr Gibson said residents can “finally” go without having to use unreliable pump and salty wells and instead have confident and reliable fresh, drinkable potable water.
He added that the WSC is also exploring various options to provide potable water to sparsely populated settlements on Crooked Island, outside of the current scope.
“It is important to note that these persons, like many other Crooked Islanders, have been without decent, potable, running water for all of their lives,” Mr Gibson said.
Mrs Emmanuel said this represents a “great day” for the people of Crooked Island and shows that the government “has a heart” for the south-eastern islands that she represents.