The planning process is in a well-advanced stage, and the anticipation is for the work to start in the summer.
The issues at the RWZI plant in Bubali are not new and are more than just the foul odors. It is harmful to our health, nature, tourism, our economy, and the quality of life of our community. The Government included, as a goal in its program for 2021-2025, to raise awareness of the urgency of this problem and to come up with a sustainable solution.
The Waste Water Plant in Bubali was built in 1972 and designed to handle the liquid waste of a determined population size. In 1972, the population in Aruba was 60 thousand people. Over the past 50 years, no one anticipated the explosive development of hotel rooms compared to the limited capacity of liquid the plant could process. Soon after the building of the wastewater plant, the hospital was built and connected to the RWZI plant. Over some time, economic development took off and left infrastructural development behind. The plant is too small to handle the volume of liquid waste, and the lack of maintenance had its toll on the structural condition of the plant.
During the meeting with the commission, they disclosed all that has been done over the past years to find a structural solution for all these issues and that the project is now in the well-advanced phase and ready for execution.
The commission presented its progress and plan to the AHATA, ATSA, FPNA, DNM, and the Management of the Amsterdam Manor Hotel. The commission is led by Mr. Jossy Figaroa, appointed by the Minister of Nature, Mr. Marlon Croes, DOW Director representing the office of the Prime Minister, Mr. Ton Rojer of Utilities Aruba N.V., on behalf of the Minister of Energy.
The objective is to privatize the entire liquid waste management system in Aruba. Through a private entity, they can secure a multi-million investment to achieve a modern system to replace the outdated 50-year-old waste management system.
The Government is preparing to transfer the RWZI plant and all its sewage systems to the new entity. In about 18 to 24 months, Aruba should be a role model in the Caribbean with a new and modern liquid waste processing system.
They will introduce a regulatory framework with the new liquid waste management system. These are the rules and norms the sewage system has to comply with. With this, they can monitor if everything goes according to the standards and avoid service deterioration.
The government program 2021-2025 states that they would seek a sustainable plan to preserve the five wetlands in connection with the RWZI Bubali. It is now an integral part of the deal with the new operator. They will take over the responsibility to maintain the Western Wetlands water at a set level and help stimulate our flora and fauna in the mini oasis that are currently dry wetlands. In turn, it should help diversify our tourism product.
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