Annual Report 2002

On June 1, 2002 a new water utility was born in Guyana. The Guyana Water Incorporated was established by amalgamating the two entities; Guyana Water Authority (GUYWA) and the Georgetown Sewerage & Water Commissioners (GS&WC) that had faithfully provided water services to the nation in the past. This merger represented a significant milestone in the Guyana Water Sector Modernisation Programme (GUYWASP), which was initiated by the Government of Guyana in 1998 with the support of the donor community. The donors actively involved in this programme were the Department for International Development (DFID), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the World Bank (IDB), European Union (EU) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

This establishment of GWI was predicated by the need to integrate and consolidate resources to foster service improvements and expanded coverage while achieving economies of scale and financial sustainability. We all started the year brimming with optimism about the prospects for our new company. Massive investments over the years in the water sector through GS&WC and GUYWA, had failed to satisfy the needs of Guyanese consumers for enhanced potable water supply and sanitation services. Many coast land communities were suffering from poor levels of service and water quality; whilst the majority of hinterland communities were experiencing depleted or zero service altogether. This situation had to be redressed in keeping with the National Development Strategy and the Millennium Development Goals - to halve by 2015 the proportion of people without access to sustainable safe drinking water and sanitation. The formation of GWI is intended to propel Guyana towards achieving these goals and it is anticipated that these issues will be satisfactorily addressed within the MDG time frame.

Amidst a swirl of skepticism, Government and the donor community decided that the new utility will be managed for the first five years by a Management Contractor. Following an international tendering process and extensive transparent negotiations, Severn Trent Water International (STWI) has been contracted to manage the utility from January 1, 2003. A transition management team comprising Guyanese managers was installed to set the foundation for the new company and ensure continuity through to the initiation of the Management Contract. Despite some difficulties, trials and tribulations we have managed to complete the transition and are forging ahead with consolidating and strengthening GWI.

From January 1, 2003 Guyana Water Inc. had a new management spearheaded by STWI under a Performance-based Management Contract. The Management Contractor was responsible for the day-to-day management of GWI over the next five years (2003-2007) and was expected to achieve significant improvements in the operational and financial performance of the utility on an annual basis. This was intended to be achieved through the positioning of five long-term Directors on the GWI Corporate Management structure and the infusion of several short-term experts to provide specialist support in various areas throughout the contract period.

Two local Directors complemented the new Corporate Management structure. An investment plan with significant financial inputs from the various donors (DfID, IDB, CDB, EU, IDA) has been formulated to ensure success of this programme.

We have made it successfully through the initial gestation period thanks to the sterling efforts of our staff, the confidence of our shareholders - Government - and patience of our consumers. Henceforth, with the guidance of our new management team, we should be well poised to provide improve water and sanitation services to the entire nation in our quest to achieve the Millennium Development Goals as it relates to Guyana.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I extend an enthusiastic welcome to the new Corporate Management Team. We are optimistic that GWI will consolidate and mature into a successful utility and accomplish its corporate goals during the next five years.

William A. Wilson (Dr.)
Chairman, Board of Directors