By KATHRYN CAMPBELL
Bahamas Information Services
RESIDENTS of Crooked Island clapped their hands gleefully during a contract signing ceremony to supply potable water for the first time in several settlements on the remote island.
Water and Sewerage Corporation Executive Chairman Adrian Gibson led a small delegation to the island on Tuesday, June 18, and signed a contract totalling $1,911,650.46 with Peter Andrews, chairman of Bahamas Hot Mix, at Ezekiel Thompson Hall in Cabbage Hill.
The project is a part of the $28.33 million loan from the Caribbean Development Bank and $13.3 million in counterpart funding from the Bahamas government, and is expected to supply water to the Pond Road, Timothy Thompson Settlement, Church Grove Settlement and Colonel Hill Settlement. It covers approximately 18,850 feet of four-inch PVC pipe, approximately 5,800 feet of two-inch PVC pipe and 83 water service connections. The work is expected to be completed in approximately eight months.
Mr Andrews said skilled operators are needed but the majority of hires will be trained on the job.
The programme comprises two projects in New Providence and projects on six Family Islands, including Crooked Island.
In his remarks, Mr Gibson expressed excitement about potable water distribution to Crooked Island.
“We recognise that all of Crooked Island will not benefit from this initial project but this government is committed to providing the entire island with a potable water system, so we intend to expand the system as far and as fast as the budget will allow,” said Mr Gibson.
Mr Gibson also said WSC also will be purchasing a reverse osmosis plant to address residents’ concerns about water production.
“Limited budgets can only do some things at a time,” he said. “Start at one point and over time you build on that until you get to where you want to be. I agree, access to potable water is a universal right. All of these islands should have potable water. It is unfortunate that it happened. We’re doing our best to address it. He who feels it knows it.”