The Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) will soon receive a grant of US$17M from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) to improve the water supply across the country.Dr Richard Van-West CharlesManaging Director of GWI, Dr Richard Van West Charles made the disclosure on Thursday at the company’s headquarters.“In the pipeline is a possible loan from the Caribbean Development Bank and with some research we have concluded with some inline filters… those filters will clean the water up and all of the water produced will be in total compliance with WHO standards… so that will significant improve the system …the expected loan would’ve been about US $17M…It is in process, the terms of reference presently is being prepared”, Managing Director revealed.With the investment in the inline filters, Guyanese can expect to benefit from clear none contaminated water.According to Van West Charles, the investment will see the elimination of iron and hydrosulfide which presently contaminates our waterways.“We are all compliant with respect to microbiology, the absence of microorganisms except if they are breakages in the distribution system but respect to iron and hydrosulfide, these filters which we have tested will change the whole system completely and we hope that our country will be free of all of the red stains, staining of propylene, staining of tiles etc.”Though Government have singed unto the Sustainable Development Goals which speaks to access to all member of the population by the year 2030, the GWI head is pushing for an earlier goal.“We are hoping that we can move this to 2025, we want to ensure that all schools, all health facilities across the country have access to potable water. So this is part of the drive, in certain areas where the President speaks to of the inequities, the hinterland regions between the hinterland and the coastal regions, we have to ensure that those populations also have access so what we collect, we don’t collect from everyone on a timely basis, so we have to ensure that we manage the resources efficiently so that we can begin to expand the system so that people across the country could get equal access” Van West Charles explained to media operatives.Presently, a Diamond Water Treatment Plant, East Bank Demerara (EBD) is being completed and is said to be over 75 percent completed.The Diamond Water Treatment Plant is part of three similar plants, the others being in Regions 3 and 6, that is made possible through the partnership and collaboration between the Government of Guyana, IDB, and the European Union.Their construction/installation has a total cost of $7Billion. Constructions works for all three water treatment plants are scheduled to conclude in December 2020.
So as their ground-based partners battled up the rugged hills, Shakstad and two fellow pilots kept working. With a helicopter commander directing the action from a Bell 406 and a pair of Bell 412 Hueys dropping water, they switched on their Nightsun searchlights and continued their attack as the sun slipped below the horizon. The Los Angeles Fire Department’s Air Operations Section sent two Sikorsky S-70 Firehawks and a Huey to battle the blaze from above. Aided by night-vision goggles, county pilots flew in closer to the hills and ducked around power lines. “It’s inherently dangerous during the daytime; then at night it’s even worse,” said Capt. Erich Goetz. “Smoke, electrical wires, towers and tall buildings, things poking up from the hillside – it’s hard to see them. Night vision gives them some help, but it’s not the same as daylight.” Again and again, the choppers dropped their payloads of foam and water on the chaos below, flying sorties past 1 a.m. Wednesday. Then the pilots flew back to base, grabbed a few hours of shut-eye until the sun came up and did it again. The county Fire Department began using the night-vision system six years ago, allowing pilots some measure of comfort as they swoop through the smoke-clogged skies. As long as they agree with the incident commander that it’s safe to approach, they can keep fighting flames long beyond sundown. The city’s Fire Department uses night-vision equipment as well, but only on night rescues and medevacs. Shakstad said once city crews get the proper training for fire use, they’ll adopt the system for firefighting and follow their county counterparts closer to the blaze. In the meantime, they fly by the light generated by the flames and leave the close-in work to their goggle-aided colleagues. “It’s definitely a challenge,” Goetz said. “I think they’d prefer not to fly at night, but it’s a risk they’re willing to take.” By Wednesday afternoon, crews had the blaze sufficiently under control so the air units could begin scaling back. Shakstad, who’d been on duty since 7 a.m. Tuesday, was winding down. In the thick of things, he’d attacked the fire as a purely tactical problem, something to be confronted and eradicated as quickly and efficiently as possible. Now, he had time to consider the terrain he’d just flown over. “I was born and raised in L.A.,” he said. “It’s tragic that we’re losing that beautiful part of the park. It’ll take quite a while for all that to grow back.” [email protected] (818) 713-3738160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Chief Pilot Paul Shakstad hovered above Griffith Park, sadly looking on as the hills of his youth raged with fire. The Tuesday evening sun was dropping and the winds had picked up. Hot spots broke out – one, two, three, four, five fires all spread out across the hillside. The dry brush erupted like fireworks. Shakstad, who’s fought fire from the air for 28 years, nudged the control stick of the Los Angeles County Fire Department Bell helicopter and headed in. “The fire spread so rapidly and was so intense, we were just holding our own,” he recalled Wednesday from the Van Nuys Airport. “We’re up there, working, working, working, working – working our tails off and not getting ahead.”