Saturday, February 19, 2011

GB gets emergency water facility

The Freeport News

Freeport, GRAND BAHAMA- A project that has been a dream for the Rotary Club International and the TK Foundation from 2006 finally became a reality yesterday with the commissioning of an emergency water reserve for the island.

Following the devasting hurricanes of 2004 and 2005 the need for water became apparent as airlift of supplies was mainly for much needed water. As a result, food and other supplies became secondary.

Since that time through the support of the Foundation and the various Rotary Clubs including Grand Bahama district 6990, East Nassau Rotary district 7020, California district 5280 and the Grand Bahama business community joined forces to raise funds for the reverse osmosis water plant.

A special ceremony was held at the site located behind the Hawksbill Service Station where government officals and those invovled in the project celebrated the occasion.

Don Cornish, administrator in the Office of the Prime Minister and co-ordinator for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), noted that the island now has the benefit of reliable consumable water in the time of crisis.

"We believe that that there is a clear need for co-operation among the various organizations with the government and the private sectors to ensure that our eyes are kept squarely on the ball and that at the end of the day key initiatives are taken in order to prevent the kind of issues that would adversely affect the population and its need and its access to water supply," he said.

"NEMA has an awesome responsibility of protecting the population during catastrophes of various kinds. It also has the task of restoring order to the lives of those persons who are affected adversely. We cannot do it alone, therefore the efforts of partners such as the Rotary Club to assist, takes us quantum leaps closer to ensuring that all of the necessary resources that are often scarce are as widely distributed as possible."

He said that Rotary is to be commended as the lead organization. The goal of Rotary, Cornish stressed, is always to ensure that the greater good is realized through its international foundation.

The reverse osmosis plant produces up to 6,000 gallons of water daily and will fill five gallon containers when the need arises. It is connected to city water and ground well water, with its own generator, in case of power outages.

Once a storm is tracked in this area, the plant will commence storage of water and will be maintained by the Grand Bahama Utility Company.

Myles Pritchard, a Bahamian living in California, brought the matter to his club and its incoming California President Elect, Jillian Alexander assisted with raising financial support.

Arthur Coady of the TK Foundation donated $100,000 for the equipment and through the Rotary Foundation and their ability to match grants, $217,000 was raised for the major project.

The plant sits on land donated by the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) and Harold "Sonny" Waugh of Waugh Construction guided the progress of the project and supervised its construction.

Various Grand Bahamians also assisted in the project including: Contractor Len Hindley, Antoine Knowles, Draftsman, Argus Advisors, Bahama Rock, Bahamas Hot Mix Co. Ltd., Big G's Plumbing, Bradford Marine, Care Maintenance Ltd., East Atlantic Electric Co. Ltd., Freeport Aggregates Ltd., Freeport Construction Co. Ltd., GB Power Co. Ltd., GB Terrazzo & Masonry Co. Ltd., GB Utility Co. Ltd., Gold Rock Concrete Products, Guardian Fencing & Shutters, Mechanical Engineering Ltd., Power Equipment Ltd. and Sanitation Services.

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