Water Supply Improvement Project Commissioned in San Salvador

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WSC Executive Chairman Adrian Gibson, and the Hon. Philip Davis, MP for Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador are pictured clipping the ribbon to mark the commissioning of water mains in San Salvador.

The Bahamas Government is continuing its efforts to improve the water supply systems in communities throughout the Family Islands.

Adrian Gibson, executive chairman of the Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC), along with the Hon. Philip Davis, MP for Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador, clipped a red ribbon to signify the official commissioning of the Water Supply Improvement Project on San Salvador.

The commissioning ceremony took place on the grounds of the new office of WSC in Cockburn Town, Thursday, January 3, 2019.  Residents, visitors and Local Government representatives witnessed the ceremony. WSC officials, including Elwood Donaldson, General Manger; Cyprian Gibson, Assistant General Manager; John Bowleg, Senior Hydrologist; Gregory Johnson, Senior Manager and Leslie Hutchinson, Senior Manager also attended the event.

The $1.7 million project is funded through a $28.33 million dollar loan from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and $13.3 million from the Bahamas Government for water infrastructure improvements in New Providence and six Family Islands. The event marked the completion of major works including the supply and installation of water transmission and distribution systems in the settlements of Cockburn Town, Fernandez Bay, Long Bay, Sugar Loaf and Sandy Point.  It impacts 400 people and includes 10 miles of pipe and 132 service connections.

In his remarks, Mr. Gibson said with the exception of 1-2 sparsely populated settlements, San Salvador is probably one of the “most complete” islands in The Bahamas regarding water connections. He said the project was “successfully” completed, with all tests performed and had reached the conclusion of the defects liability period. The island also benefits from a new reverse osmosis system that produces approximately 70,000 gallons of water per day, and the new office which was recently opened.

The chairman said the new facility will help to improve service to residents and provide easy access for customers to address their concerns and pay their bills. He acknowledged the Prime Minister, Dr. the Most Hon. Hubert Minnis, and the Hon. Desmond Bannister, Minister of Public Works, for their support and commended the staff of WSC, including the teams from South Andros and Inagua who assisted in installing meters and ensuring the successful completion of the project.

Alphege Butler, manager at the local office, said customers are happy and enjoying the service now that they have fresh water.

Beverley Laramore said the initiative has made the lives of the residents of San Salvador ‘a little better’ as in the past it was it was difficult and tedious: “[I am] happy that they’ve come and extended the water service in the southern part of the island. Persons had to use their well water, change pumps and fixtures often, sometimes boil water. Now that the infrastructure is in we just have to turn the faucets on, and clean water is running.”

Jay Jermaine Johnson, employed with the Ministry of Tourism in San Salvador, expressed excitement for the extension of the water mains to the southern part of the island. He said Sandy Point is one of the few areas on the island with the potential for home owners to purchase property. “That has, in the past, been one of the deterrents. We have lots of repeat customers and visitors who come here, love the island and would like to do a second home here. Now, having that area with a good, quality water source, consistently, from the government wells is much needed and will be a great asset in helping to develop that area particularly for future developers, particularly home owners.”

Mr. Gibson underscored that WSC is presently reviewing other aspects of the project. He said the corporation is approaching substantial completion to work in South Andros. He expressed his awareness of the dire need for water in the Family Islands and assured the residents that he has the interest of the Family Islands at heart.

A WSC representative leads officials on a tour of the new office facilities in San Salvador. From left: the Hon. Philip Davis,  Adrian Gibson, and Elwood Donaldson.

Adrian Gibson, executive chairman, WSC, gives remarks at the ceremony.

 Pictured from left at the commissioning ceremony: Adrian Gibson, executive chairman, WSC; the Hon. Philip Davis, MP for Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador; and Dynell Williams, Administrative Cadet.

Alphege Butler, WSC manager and serviceman, speaks about the new water mains in San Salvador.

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