I have discovered that if almost any
public entity in this country and I mean any one of them, the court system,
GPL, the POLICE, CUSTOMS, GUYWA, ANY ministry, any public hospital or public
functionary, ticks you off, you can crucify them with impunity. All you have to
do is read our audited public accounts, the bank of Guyana
statistics and the budget. The contempt for us Guyanese, is so profound that
there is no longer even a pretence at doing things honestly or competently, the
blatantly corrupt way our affairs are mismanaged are so glaring that you have
to be blind not to see them.
Recently I bought a pool, I live very
close to the Demerara river at Versailles, so I could not have an inground
pool, they are far too expensive anyway, 30,000 US especially when the water
table is as high as it is, where I live less than 100 ft away from the river.
The pool I bought is one of those above ground pools you buy as a kit for
around two thousand US dollars.
In the year of our lord
2001 after expending something like 9 million Euro dollars on the West Demerara
water system from Goed Fortuin all the way up the West Coast to Windsor Forest, GUYWA
finally gave me a water connection. I had not had a water connection before
that, and I had to transport every drop of water I used for over 15 years.
During the last election amid much fanfare we were told in the PPP campaign
advertising that 4.8 Billion Guyana dollars were expended on giving us treated
water around the country by GUYWA, a statement which most citizens quietly
found amusing or not so amusing depending on your personality since none of us
was getting a proper water supply.
Happy that I had at last
gotten a connection I put the trailer with the two 400 gallon water tanks; I
had built to bring the water here from the La
Grange overhead tank, up for sale and
bought this pool. After three weeks of having my new GUYWA connection I decided
to keep the trailer, I had already bought the pool so I was stuck with it.
GUYWA I discovered was
pumping water into the lines for 2 hours in the morning and two hours in the
afternoon, some days not at all, how was it possible I asked myself that after
building a complete water treatment plant and a well about ¼ mile from my house
for 6 million Euro dollars I was not getting any water?
I began investigating and
immediately discovered that the 6 million Euro dollars were spent on a dazzling
Ladies and gentlemen you
decide that you want to dig a well, you determine how much water you want and
that determines the size of the pump you need and consequently the size of the
pipe that has to be placed in the ground. Let us say that your pipe into the
ground artesian reservoir is 9 inches in diameter, you bore a hole 11 inches
wide and you put the pipes down into the ground usually 700-800 feet deep. At
the bottom of that hole your submersible pump is lowered until it starts
pumping the water up the pipe. So you find an artesian reservoir 700-ft below
the surface, into that artesian reservoir is your pipe and at the tip of the
pipe is your pump. The pump then PUSHES the water 700-ft to the surface. All of
this was done and so far all is well with the WELL, now we come to the idiocy
of the situation for which we paid the consultants almost 70 percent of the
total cost of the project of 6 million Euros for designing this atrocity for
If you are bringing water
from 700 ft below the surface of the ground anyway why not bring it 765 ft and
put it into an overhead tank and let the water run out by gravity to your
filters and then to your consumers 24 hours per day, there is NO extra cost
involved, Isaac Newton discovered in 1667 that gravity exists, but our
consultants clearly did not hear of it.
Why did we have to build a
system where we bring this water to the surface put it into a huge tank at
ground level and THEN have to use several large pumps to put it into the lines,
remember that the one pump we had at the bottom of the well alone; can and does
fill the overhead tank, we now discover that our consultants not only have not
been informed of the existence of gravity, they were also apparently not
informed about the quality of electricity we have in this country which is
about 85% of what it should be, we should be getting 120 volts but IF we see 95
volts in our homes we are lucky, so GP&L is supplying these treatment
plants with such poor electricity that all the pumps are breaking down, and
they are charging us so much for powering these pumps anyway that we cant afford
to pump into the lines for more than 4-5 hours per day.
To illustrate what I am
talking about here and to commence the crucifixion of GUYWA, let's turn to the
1999 public accounts of Guyana, prepared by our estimable auditor general.
In it we discover that the Guyana water
authority was established by act No. 3 of 1972 and is subject to separate
financial report and audit. This audit is supposed to be tabled in the national
assembly annually, Goolsaran tells us that it could not be determined when last
it was done, so the first stage of the crucifixion begins with the fact that
GUYWA has broken the LAW. Having established that they have broken the LAW, we
sentence them to be crucified.
The TOTAL assets of GUYWA
in December 1999 was identified as 3.6 billion dollars but as part of their
assets they reported that their TOTAL land assets on which all of the GUYWA
facilities exist had a value of only three thousand and forty Guyana dollars,
ladies and gentlemen all the land that GUYWA owns can be bought with the same
amount of money as for a carton of Benson and Hedges!!! It is ridiculous to
paraphrase our auditor general. Nail number one.
In the 1999 public accounts
GUYWA says that they owe GPL 53.2 million dollars but GPL says that GUYWA owes
them 267.8 million. This is ridiculous accounting, so that's nail number two.
In the year 1999 GUYWA
spent a total of 855 million dollars, ladies and gentlemen of this total amount
their salaries were 212 million and their electricity bill was 319 million. The
citizens of this country are required to do what GUYWA should be doing and all
of us have to build overhead tanks in our homes because GUYWA and the geniuses
they have retained as consultants, do not have the simple common sense to build
the GUYWA tanks above ground substantially reducing their electrical bill and
maintenance costs. Now comes the really obscene aspect of the situation, we the
citizens to get water to OUR overhead tanks have to buy pumps and give GP&L
more money to do what GUYWA was supposed to do in the first place. Nail number
As for the water treatment
claims made by GUYWA? Well in 1999 GUYWA throughout this country let's say
500,000 persons spent only 697 thousand dollars on chemicals, in 1998 they
spent zero dollars. Compare this to GS&WC which delivers water to the
Georgetown residents about 1/3 of the population; GS&WC spent 18 million on
water treatment chemicals and 132 million buying power from GP&L so in the
year 1999 GPL collected from GUYWA and GS&WC 451 million dollars. Now I do
not like gestimates but it would not surprise me if we the citizens
individually are not spending another 400 million in electrical costs to pump
this water into our overhead tanks. Now it is true that the artesian water is
cleaner than the water from the conservancy but to spend only 697 thousand
dollars on chemical treatment when their office supplies cost was 8 million is
absolute nonsense. This is the age of computers people why does GUYWA have to
spend 8 million on stationary per year. Nail number four.
And listen to this ladies
and gentlemen it would be amusing if it were not so ridiculous GUYWA collected
250 million from non metered customers in 1999 and 12 million from metered
customers. GS&WC was no different they collected 205 million from
non-metered customers and 125 million from metered customers. Let's pull the
There are two heads
which I find particularly disturbing about the GUYWA figures in the 1999 audit,
there is a 31 million expenditure labeled as outside services and there is a 29
million expenditure labeled as other administrative, 60 million non specific
expenditure especially in view of no audit being sent to parliament tells me
that all is not right. Guywa now firmly nailed to the cross cries out "I
thirst" so we look around for the GUYWA connection nearby but there is no water
in the line. Sorry.
Ladies and gentlemen
Auditor General Goolsaran identifies our governmental system of having 40
departments, the 21 ministries the 10 regions etc. he tells us that they have
more than 847 bank accounts almost all of which are in complete chaos, but the
point I want to make here is that Goolsaran has identified 40 departments of Government
and one comes to the inevitable connection with Ali Babba and the 40 thieves.
In the mean time I have
been trying to fill my pool for the past 11 days and it ain't full yet. I noted
that our minister of water Baksh in a long speech recently telling us that the
staff at GUYWA are not competent, so they have to bring in a team of non
Guyanese to run the system for us, of course this will add at least another 1
billion dollars to our cost of water distribution and supply.
This design concept of
water distribution is completely inappropriate and unrealistic for this third
world country Mr. Baksh, save our money and build overhead tanks, they are even
made from pre-stressed concrete and fiberglass these days, strike up elevated
potable water structures on the net and you'll see them all over the United
States supplying millions of gallons to citizens there; specifically look for
Do not waste more of our
money trying to make a lousy system work, its called throwing good money after
bad. I think that they teach this sort of lesson in 2nd standard.