Residents in several North Long Island settlements are set to receive water for the first time. The Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC) held a groundbreaking ceremony for phase 2 of a water project, Thursday, November 21, 2019, that signals the beginning of the process for water supply for residents in settlements of Millerton, Bunches, Deals, Scrub Hill, Simms and Doctors Creek, Bains, Morris Creek and Whymms. The Hon. Adrian Gibson, Executive Chairman, WSC and MP for Long Island said the day signalled another milestone in Long Island’s history and that of the WSC. He reflected on his life as a little boy growing up in Long Island never seeing running water and having to draw water from a well.
“Many Long Islanders have never seen running water including my 85 and 87-year-old grandparents,” said Mr. Gibson. “Our job is to improve and empower people throughout the length and breadth of this country,” he added. The projects are as a result of a $28.33 million loan from the Caribbean Development Bank, which includes $13.3 million in counterpart funding from The Bahamas Government and WSC.
The proposed works are:
Approximately 22,000 feet of 4-inch PVC pipe
Approximately 5,500 feet of 2-inch PVC pipe
80 water service connections
Lot number 4:
15,000 of 4-inch feet of PVC pipe
25,000 feet of 2-inch PVC pipe
100 service connections.
Mr. Gibson noted that as The Bahamas is in a hurricane zone, engineers have taken great care to design the proposed water systems so that they are “robust” to climate change and climate variability. “They have identified potential climate change impacts on Long Island and they are putting in place the appropriate adaptation measures,” he said. “The pipelines laid along the roadways adjacent to the sea will be laid at a depth of four feet rather than the standard of three feet and will be installed on the opposite side of the roadway from where the sea is.
“Detailed studies have been conducted to identify all of the areas that will be under water if a storm of high intensity hits Long Island. “In all areas the pipes will be laid at a depth of four feet all the areas on the shorelines or near to the sea,” he said. Mr. Gibson commended Bahamas Hot Mix Company Ltd. for its efforts to date and in anticipation of a stellar performance on lots 3 and 4. He acknowledged N. O. Whyte and Associates, independent assessor, for providing engineering services and consultancy on the CDB projects.
Mr. Gibson also thanked Prime Minister Dr. the Most Hon. Hubert Minnis and the Minister of Works the Hon. Desmond Bannister for their support in this undertaking. He assured residents throughout the Family Islands that the government is doing everything in its power to ensure a safe and reliable water supply for residents. “We are keenly aware of the needs of the Family Islands and are currently formulating plans to address them,” he said. Mr. Gibson dispelled the controversy surrounding rumours that the settlements of Miller’s and McKann’s have been overlooked.
“We endeavoured to cover as much of Long Island with this project as much as possible with respect to the CDB loan. We are looking to capture the areas where we can get the most service connections and ways and means to address areas like Miller’s and McKann’s using our in-house teams. “In Bunches there are 200 service connections compared to Miller’s and McKann’s where there are 30 service connections. It is a matter of expenditure and capturing as many people as possible. You are not ignored or forgotten and we are currently working on a plan for you,” Mr. Gibson noted.