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$1.1b pumped into water plan—Singh
Water Resources Minister Ganga Singh says the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) has spent $1.1 billion on 823 developmental projects in all 41 constituencies, a development plan designed to improve the range and frequency of water delivery throughout T&T. He made the comment in response to an Opposition question during yesterday’s sitting of the Senate. He said the projects had increased water availability in T&T from 18 per cent in 2010 to 58 per cent.
Singh detailed the projects in each of the 41 constituencies, the overall cost there, plus their specific locations and respective costs a district. The projects ranged from a maximum number of 70 projects in rural Siparia to one in urban San Fernando East. Costs ranged from a high of $70.3 million (70 projects in Siparia) and $41.3 million ( 29 projects in Diego Martin West) to a low of $476,160 (for one project in San Fernando East)
Singh detailed major refurbishment works at various water works plants, drilling and equipping wells, upgrading transmission and distribution systems and boosters as some of the major work completed by the authority. Also yesterday, Health Minister Fuad Khan said Government had spent $34 million on foreign nurses in the last three years but there was still a shortage of nurses on wards.
He was piloting the Nurses and Midwives amendment act to institute a new category of nurse — the advance practice nurse — in order to ease the shortage of health sector workers. Khan said there was an unacceptable failure rate among nursing students of 47 to 50 per cent over 2008 for example. Part of the proposed changes would allow for students to have more clinical practice, the area where most were weakest, he said.
It also allows for nurses with foreign experience to work rather than being rejected outright by Nursing Council provisions.