4th September 2015
The Guyana Wastewater Revolving Fund (GWRF) today entered into an agreement with its first project as the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Communities, Mr Emil McGarrell, and the Chief Executive Officer of Ashmins Fun Park and Resorts, Lennox John, signed an agreement to construct a wastewater treatment plant capable of handling 139,000 litres of wastewater daily.
This US$300,000 investment will enable Ashminsto bring all wastewater from their facilities at Splashmins and Madewini Villas, a 163 acre resort development located on the Demerara River,up to acceptable regional standards before it is discharged into the environment.
The agreement is significant because this is the first private sector company to access financing from the GWRF for a wastewater treatment facility, and, it is expected that treated wastewater from this plant will be reused for irrigation purposes in operations at the company’s Madewini Villas location.
In 2010, theGovernment of Guyana(GoG) made a commitment to prevent the further environmental deterioration of its terrestrial and coastal waters when it signed the Protocol concerning Pollution from Land Based Sources and Activities (the LBS Protocol) of the Cartagena Convention, the only legally binding regional agreement for the protection and development of the Caribbean Sea. This was necessary because the degradation of Guyana’s waterways and coastal environment, as a result of the discharge of untreated domestic, commercial, industrial and agricultural effluent, had become a serious concern.
The GWRF is a pilot sustainable financing mechanism established by the GoG under the Global Environment Facility –funded Caribbean Regional Fund for Wastewater Management (GEF CReW) Project, which is being implemented by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The Ministry of Communities is the Implementing Agency for the Guyana Pilot Project. The GWRF will finance various wastewater projects in the private sector via a revolving fund valued at US$ 3 million. An additional US$560,000 has been committed as counterpart funding by the GoG, to provide support for wastewater management initiatives, with specific focus upon public-private partnerships.
Guyana is one of four countries in the GEF CReW Project which is piloting innovative sustainable financing mechanisms under the Project’s Component 1. The others are Jamaica (via a credit enhancement facility), and Belize and Trinidad&Tobago (also via revolving funds).
Under GEF CReW’s Component 2, which looks at reforms for wastewater management, Guyana has also been working to improve and strengthen its legislative framework for wastewater management.
The IDB, present at the signing today, noted it as a significant milestone for GEF CReW: “It demonstrates the interest of the private sector in advancing the wastewater treatment agenda, when provided with the right incentives, in this case low interest rate financing.”
Wastewater management projects financed by the GWRF are expected to have high impact in terms of significant improvements or prevention from further deterioration in the quality of coastal waters.
GEF CReW congratulates Ashmins Fun Park and Resorts for having the vision to become the first project to benefit from the GWRF and Guyana’s Ministry of Communities for its leadership in getting the GWRF up and running!
Information on the Project may be found at: www.gefcrew.org and the Project’s Facebook page: GEF CReW Project
For more information contact:
Donna Sue Spencer
Global Environment Facility-funded Caribbean Regional Fund for Wastewater Management (GEF CReW)
UNEP Caribbean Regional Coordinating Unit (UNEP CAR/RCU)
14 - 20 Port Royal Street
Tel. (876) - 922 - 9267 to 9
Fax: (876) - 922 - 9292