Statement of Mr. Adrian Gibson, MP/Executive Chairman, WSC Cat Island Lots 1 and 2

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June 04, 2020

The Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC) and the Government is committed to providing safe and reliable potable water supply to every citizen in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. WSC is continuing our execution of the Water Supply Improvement Project. This project is funded by a $28.33 million loan from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and $13.3 million in counterpart funding from the Government of the Bahamas. The scope of works includes two (2) projects in New Providence and projects on six (6) Family Islands, including Cat Island.

Today, the Corporation is pleased to announce that piped water will be extended to Cat Island for the first time. At present, no part of Cat Island has piped water supply.

The proposed works on Cat Island will be undertaken in two (2) lots:

Lot 1:

1. Approximately 350 feet of 6-inch PVC pipe
2. Approximately 10,400 feet of 4-inch PVC pipe
3. Approximately 6,100 feet of 2-inch PVC pipe
4. 115 water service connections
5. The construction of an access roadway to a RO Plant

The areas to be supplied with potable water for the first time will include Wilson Bay southwards to Bennett’s Harbour. Additionally, mains installation will proceed along service roads that intersect with the Queens Highway (along Wilson Bay and Bennett’s Harbour).

Lot 2:

1. Approximately 3,500 feet of 6-inch PVC pipe
2. Approximately 32,500 feet of 4-inch PVC pipe
3. Approximately 9,500 feet of 2-inch PVC pipe
4. 175 water service connections
5. The construction of an access roadway to a RO Plant

The areas to be supplied with potable water for the first time include the New Bight settlement southwards to the settlements of Douds and Moss Town and ending in the Old Bight settlement. Moreover, water mains installation will proceed along service roads that intersect with the Queens Highway (along the New Bight and Old Bight settlements).

Water for both lots will be produced by two new reverse osmosis plants that are not part of this scope but will be executed shortly.

These works will replace a longstanding tankering operation where a single truck was required to attend to residences throughout Cat Island to deliver water. This will also result in many Cat Islanders no longer having to carry water by hand or “tote” water on their heads. Relative to trucked water, for many years, delivery challenges arose during hurricanes and poor weather due to road blockages (debris) and/or the roads being completely washed away.

The completion of these works should not exceed three hundred and fifty days or approximately eighteen (18) months.

We are cognizant of the fact that The Bahamas is in a hurricane zone. Given that, the engineers have taken great care to design the proposed water systems, so that they are robust and adaptable to climate variability and change.

They have identified potential climate change impacts along with the appropriate adaptation measures, for e.g. all of the pipelines that are laid along roadways that are adjacent to the sea will be laid at a depth of four feet, rather than the standard depth of three feet.

These mains will also be installed on the opposite side of the roadway. Detailed studies have been undertaken to identify all areas that would likely be submerged if a high intensity storm hits Cat Island. In all such areas, pipes will be laid at a depth of four feet. Further, the RO Plant sites were selected due to them being at least thirty feet above mean sea level. The residents of Cat Island will be excited to know that a potable water system is being constructed for the first time on their island. While this initial project will not cover the entire island, the network has been designed to accommodate extensions of the potable water distribution system.

On behalf of the Corporation, I want to especially recognize staff member Mr. Donnie Newbold. Mr. Newbold has for many years executed a one-man operation on Cat Island (delivering water to residents via a tanker and addressing every other concern). I also want to commend our Project Management Unit, N.O. Whyte & Associates Ltd. of Jamaica (who are the Engineering Services Consultants with oversight of the execution of CDB projects), the CDB and all of our contributing staff members. Your hard work is most appreciated.

We remain keenly aware of the water needs of all of the Family Islands and continue to formulate plans on how we can address them. 

Click to READ WSC Invitation for Bid-Cat Island 2020

News date : 06/04/2020    Category : About Bahamians, Press Releases

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