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Guyana will improve sanitation in Georgetown with IDB loan

Guyana will provide improved sewage service to 52,000 people in the capital city of Georgetown and help to eliminate neglected tropical diseases with a $9.5 million loan approved by the Inter-American Development Bank.

The funds will be used by Guyana Water Inc. (GWI), a public utility owned by the government, to improve the operational performance of the Georgetown sewerage system through the reconstruction of its most critical components. It will include the complete replacement of the 5.5-kilometer sewerage ring main in Georgetown, replacement of all the delivery mains, and purchase of additional pumps and maintenance equipment.

The loan will also enable GWI to improve its financial performance by replacing or upgrading pumps so that they consume less electricity—one of the utility’s major operating expenses. The program will include the purchase of portable measuring equipment, the replacement of inefficient pumping equipment and operational improvements to electric motors in 12 selected locations.

A portion of the loan will be used to finance public health programs that will limit the transmission of water-related neglected tropical diseases, including lymphatic filariasis and intestinal helminthiasis. These and other diseases have persisted in parts of Georgetown partly because the sewage system, built nearly 80 years ago, suffers from frequent blockages and ruptures that can expose residents to untreated wastewater.

Finally, the loan will pay for activities to strengthen the capacity of GWI’s Wastewater Management Division and its Energy Efficiency Group. These will include development of an asset management implementation strategy; knowledge transfer and staff training programs on wastewater operation and maintenance practices and energy use; and public awareness campaigns, specifically targeting schools and business owners.

The IDB loan consists of a $4,750,000 from the Bank’s Ordinary Capital and $4,750,000 from the Fund for Special Operations. The former is a 30-year loan, with a 6-year grace period and an interest rate based on LIBOR. The latter is a 40-year loan, with a 40-year grace period and a 0.25 percent interest rate.

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