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Splashmins first Guyanese company to get GWR funding for waste water treatment facility

From L to R: Ms. Leslie-Ann Edwards, Acting Representative, IDB; Hon. Minister Ronald Bulkan, Minister of Communities; Mr. Emil Mc Garrell, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Communities; Mr. Lennox John, CEO, Ashmins Fun Park and Resort

Ashmins Fun Park and Resorts (Splashmins and Madewini Villas) on Friday became the first Guyanese company to get money from the Guyana Wastewater Revolving Fund (GWRF)  to build a wastewater treatment facility.

“Ashmins Fun Park and Resorts 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,” said Caribbean Regional Fund for Wastewater Management (GEF CReW) Project in a statement.

The Guyana government, through the GWRF, signed an agreement with Ashmins Fun Park and Resorts (Splashmins and Madewini Villas) to finance the construction of a plant capable of handling 139,000 litres of wastewater daily.  “This US$300,000 investment will enable them to bring the wastewater from their facilities up to acceptable regional standards before it is discharged into the environment,” added CReW.

The IDB says it is very pleased to work on behalf of the Global Environment Facility –funded Caribbean Regional Fund for Wastewater Management (GEF CReW) Project , with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and regional governments, including the Government of Guyana and specifically the Ministry of Communities,  to implement this innovative sustainable financing mechanism for wastewater management.

GEF CReW pilots innovative sustainable financing mechanisms in Guyana, Belize and Trinidad and Tobago via revolving funds while in Jamaica it is offered via a credit enhancement facility.  The Guyana pilot offers an instrument for financing various wastewater projects in the private sector via a revolving fund (the GWRF), valued at US$ 3 million. 

An additional US$560,000 has been committed as counterpart funding from the Government of Guyana, geared at supporting its efforts in improving wastewater management, with specific focus on public-private partnerships. This instrument depends on private sector willingness to source investment financing for wastewater management improvements. 

CReW says the signing of the agreement is a milestone for the CReW, as 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.

The degradation of the marine environment along Guyana’s shores, principally through the discharge of untreated domestic, commercial, industrial and agricultural effluent, has been, and continues to be a serious concern.  As early as 1976, the management of wastewater has been on the agenda of governments in the Wider Caribbean Region (WCR), starting with the launch of the Caribbean Environment Programme (CEP) by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) that identified reduction of land-based sources of pollution from municipal, industrial and agricultural sectors as a key priority.  In 2010, the GOG made a commitment to prevent the further environmental deterioration of its terrestrial and coastal waters when it signed the Protocol on the Control of Land Based Sources of Marine Pollution (the LBS Protocol) of the Cartagena Convention, the only legally binding regional agreement for the protection and development of the Caribbean Sea.