From 18 per cent of the Trinidad and Tobago population receiving a 24/7 water supply in 2010 when the People’s Partnership Government took office, WASA is now providing 69 per cent of the country with a full 24/7 supply of water.
In Tobago it is higher, with 70 per cent of that population receiving a 24/7 supply.
In a statement in the Senate yesterday, Minister of Water Resources and the Environment, Ganga Singh, who in a previous incarnation had famously promised “water for all”, also stated that WASA had now achieved 97 per cent of its mandate to provide all customers with a water supply of a minimum of two days per week.
He said WASA’s public image has improved and the authority has achieved a 67 per cent customer satisfaction rating, according to a Mori poll.
The poll showed a 56 per cent reduction in negative reporting on WASA and an overall 33 per cent drop in media reports and media mention, Singh said, adding the results were for the period May-June 2011.
He said the national coverage for wastewater was 30% i.e., only 30% of the population had access to centralised wastewater treatment system.
Noting that water-supply services had been given priority over wastewater development by previous governments, Singh said the People’s Partnership Government was committed to shifting this paradigm. He said to this end two major contracts under Phase 1 of the Multi-Phase Wastewater Rehabilitation Loan in the amount of US $246.5 million (TT$1.3 billion) were signed on Monday. The contracts are for:
1) the construction of the Malabar Wastewater Treatment Plant and Collection System at a total cost of $620 million with Sinohydro Corporation and
2) the construction of the San Fernando Wastewater Treatment Plant and Collection System at a total cost of $654 million with a joint venture comprising Acciona Agua S.A.U and Atlatec S.A.
Some of the key projects already completed under this plan include replacement of the 28-kilometre Navet Trunk Main from Tabaquite and St Clements; the Old Hollis North Trunk Main between Valencia and Port of Spain, as well as seven kilometres of the Courland Transmission Main from Plymouth Road to Buccoo Road, among many others.
The thrust in major pipeline replacement is continuing with projects across the country including 28 kilometres of a 44-inch diameter pipeline, which is currently being installed from Piarco to Couva, along with replacement of the high leakage at Old Hollis South Trunk Main, both of which will provide improved system operation.
Additionally, a programme of works is being undertaken to increase overall capacities, while improving the reliability of the infrastructure. Some of these projects include rehabilitation of the Caroni, Navet, North Oropouche, Hollis, Courland and Richmond Water Treatment plants; installation of key transmission pipelines between Siparia and Penal, along Maracas Royal Road, St Joseph; from Cunupia to Las Lomas; and between Lowlands and Buccoo in Tobago; construction of new booster stations at Savonetta and Bagatelle and construction of storage reservoirs at Arouca, Charlotteville, Mayaro, Arena, Diego Martin and Plaisance Park.
To address water supply needs on a localised basis, water treatment facilities were constructed at La Fillette, Talparo, Penal, Point Fortin and Matura, in order to overcome deficits in supply to these areas. The authority has also embarked on a well development programme that has resulted in the drilling and equipping of nine wells located in Point Fortin, PoS, and Santa Cruz in Trinidad and Louis D’Or in Tobago.
To date, the projects undertaken by the authority has seen the installation of approximately 683 kilometres of pipelines, at a cost of $863 million, with a total of some 330,000 persons now benefitting from a 24/7 supply. Some of these include the residents of Covigne, Diego Martin, Big Yard, Carenage, Union and Bristol villages in Mayaro, Biche, Marabella, Chaguanas, Princes Town, Caura, Matura, Bon Air, Arima Old Road, Arena, Freeport, Mission Road, Chin Chin Road, Rio Claro, Debe, Carenage, Santa Cruz and Coconut Drive, Morvant among others, who are now in receipt of a 24/7 pipe borne service.