Projected Reserve Osmosis Desalination Plant Welcomed by Ragged Islanders

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Cyprian Gibson, Assistant General Manager, Water and Sewerage Corporation, addresses a pre-tenders meeting for a reverse osmosis plant on the grounds of Duncan Town All-Age School, Ragged Island.

“This is great news for Ragged Island,” said Basil Francis of the Government’s plans to construct a Reverse Osmosis Desalination Plant on the far-flung southern island. Francis, a descendant of the quaint, serene island, said it’s been really rough surviving without a constant flow of running water for nearly three months. “We say the water is ‘on’ when it rains. People think this means the waterman is coming, but it means to catch some rainwater while it’s raining. Thank God it’s been raining a lot lately,” he said. Ragged Island was totally devastated in September 2017 following the passage of Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm. The island’s water plant and housing were also damaged resulting in a temporary supply of water. An emergency reverse osmosis unit, which provides water for critical needs, is presently in operation.  The temporary plant provides a limited water supply of 700 gallons per day to the population, which has dropped to approximately 30 residents since Hurricane Irma. The previous supply was 5,000 gallons per day.

In its quest to provide a long-term solution, Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC) Assistant General Manager Cyprian Gibson chaired a pre-tenders site visit and consultation meeting with a team of stakeholders, including representatives of the Water and Sewerage Corporation, Bahamas Power and Light, and local and international contractors on the grounds of the All-Age School in Duncan Town, January 16th, 2018.  Family Island Administrator Oscar Munroe was also present. A native of Ragged Island, Administrator Munroe said Ragged Islanders are anxious to return the island that is rich in history, back to its glory days. He said the exercise was an important step in the restoration of the island, and he looked forward to partnering with the other stakeholders.

In a recent statement, the Hon. Adrian Gibson, Member of Parliament for Long Island and Chairman of WSC, said as part of the corporation’s coordinated efforts with central government, the private sector, and other stakeholders, an invitation was recently extended for public tenders to construct a reverse osmosis plant on that island. Mr. Gibson said the scope of work includes the provision of all designs, expertise, labor, material, equipment and other necessary services required to design, build, own and operate a 5,000-imperial-gallon-per day reverse osmosis desalination plant and distribution pumps in accordance with the Corporation’s technical and operational requirements.

Moreover, the Chairman advised that “all” options are being explored, especially the possibility of the incorporation of green technologies.  The meeting also included an overview of the tenders document, the process, technical specifications and drawings and a question and answer period. Eight companies, who submitted payment for tender documents, attended the pre-tenders meeting. The team visited the existing site of the plant and another possible site in Duncan Town. Charles Curling, another resident, said having little water makes life difficult for most people, especially those who do not have anywhere to store it. “A new plant would be good. We need running water,” he said.

Representatives of various government agencies and private contractors view the existing water supply plant in Duncan Town and discuss plans for a new one.
Oscar Munroe, Family Island Administrator, (left) and Cyprian Gibson, Assistant General Manager, Water, and Sewerage Corporation, look at an old water supply well, Duncan Town, Ragged Island.
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Cyprian Gibson, Assistant General Manager, Water, and Sewerage Corporation, discusses plans for a new water supply system for Ragged Island with residents.

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