The Communities Ministry on Tuesday inked a $125 million contract for the consultancy and design of landfill sites in Bartica, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni); Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice); and in Mahdia, Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) – a move Government believes could strengthen the solid waste disposal system in outlying areas.
Over the next eight months, overseas-based firm ESP Inc in association with SEMPCO, will be involved in the preliminary studies for the design of sanitary landfill sites in the three municipalities, covering a cost of Gy$125 million.
At the simple signing ceremony at the Communities Ministry, Minister Ronald Bulkan highlighted the special interest Government has been placing on sanitation. He noted too that Government is seeking to ensure equality between the coastland and hinterland communities.
“I don’t think it would be unfair for me to say that not enough emphasis was placed in the past for proper and effective solid waste management and that is something that the Administration wants to break and move towards to a more modern management of waste disposal,” Bulkan said.
He said the question of capital towns and their roles have been highlighted by Government.
Present also at the signing ceremony were the Mayor of Bartica Gifford Marshall and acting Mayor of Linden Waneeka Arindell.
Added to the $125 million for the landfill sites, another $6.5 million will also be expended on soil testing at Mabaruma, Region One. Government will soon set up a landfill site in that municipality.
About 70,000 residents in four municipalities and one Neighbourhood Democratic Council are expected to benefit from these modern waste disposal facilities.
This is required in order to provide a safe and environmentally-friendly place for the final disposal of waste. The Ministry has collaborated with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to find suitable locations for disposal facilities.
Several locations have since been identified and conditional approval given for the development of sanitary landfills.
The Ministry said it has a mandate to safeguard the well being of its citizens and preserve the environment for future generations through the relevant policies, infrastructural development, institutional strengthening and capacity building and public awareness and community participation.
The Communities Ministry intends to have the site developed through a phased approach with the essential elements completed during the first phase.
The landfill design would incorporate topographic survey of the sites, access to the site, site security, waste disposal and fill management, leachate management, landfill gas management, operations and maintenance manuals, environmental audit and environmental monitoring and management systems.
It will also involve the design drawings and bills of quantities and estimates for construction of the sites as well as preparation of bidding documents.
The consultants are Stan Gonsalves, Executive Vice President of Exponential Services Inc; in association with Lead Consultant, Ramon Latchmansingh of Caribbean Engineering and Management Consultants Inc (CEMCO).
Designs and bidding documents are expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2018 and bidding will commence shortly thereafter.
The contract for the hydrogeological and geotechnical investigation at proposed landfills in Region One (Mabaruma and Port Kaituma) will be undertaken by E&A Consultants Ltd.
Conditional approval has been given by the EPA for a proposed site at Khan’s Hill in Mabaruma and Sia/White Creek at Port Kaituma.
The soil parameters which will inform the design of the sanitary landfill are requirements by the EPA.
Soil investigations will be conducted at various proposed sites including 14 miles Bartica, Region Seven; Kara Kara, Linden, Region 10; Bon Success, Lethem, Region Nine; Red and White, Mahdia, Region Eight; Khan’s Hill, Mabaruma, Region One’ White Creek, Port Kaituma, and Onderneeming, Essequibo Coast, Region Two.
Dumpsites that will be upgraded to landfills are Byderabo, Bartica, Rose Hall, Lusignan and Haags Bosch.