$15M for extension of Achiwib water distribution system next year – President Ali

Some $15 million will be made available through the 2023 National Budget for the continuation of the extension of water distribution system in Achiwib, in the Deep South Rupununi, Region Nine.

This was announced by President, Dr Irfaan Ali who visited the village on Saturday, during his three-day outreach to the Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo region, at the weekend.

The PPP/C Government has already injected more than $1.5 billion to increase access to safe, clean and reliable water in hinterland and riverine communities throughout Guyana.

President, Dr Irfaan Ali during the community meeting at Achiwib

The intervention has resulted in more than 10,000 residents benefitting from first time access to potable water since August 2020.

Since the PPP/C took office, approximately 20 new water distribution systems were completed in communities in Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine, and  communities in the coastal regions.

This has resulted in a significant increase of hinterland water coverage from 46 per cent to 60 per cent.

President, Dr Irfaan Ali taking notes during the community meeting at Achawib

Achiwib’s water upgrade will form part of the administration’s major water improvement plans for next year across the hinterland and riverine communities.

Meanwhile, President Ali said his government will also set aside $2.5 million to complete infrastructural works at the recreational facility in Achiwib. He made it clear that the labour must come from persons within the area.

“These are the things that we want to work with you on, these are the things that we see could strengthen your ability to do better as a people,” the head of state stressed.

The community is known for producing peanuts in abundance. In this regard , President Ali pointed out that the New Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC) will return to the area to engage the residents.

President, Dr Irfaan Ali takes a drive in a bus during his visit to Achawib village

The consultation, Dr Ali emphasised, will see government, villagers and private stakeholders agreeing on a price for the produce to be sold for the next five years.

Such undertaking could allow Achiwib residents to expand their farming capacity and capability, and earn more to better their lives.

“What we can try to do is to bring someone who is a big buyer to help even in the financing of the project so that they can get you back to the peanut production as quick as possible, and then we can have a market with a long-term price,” he added.

Further, Dr Ali reminded of the war in Ukraine which has caused a host of worldwide challenges, including the hike in cost of living and fuel prices.

He said while governments around the world are cutting wages or relieving people from their jobs due the world’s ongoing misfortunes, over the last two years, the PPP/C administration has delivered on its promises.

“Not only did we reverse the taxes, not only did we budget for improvement in your life, but we were able to deliver COVID-19 grants, hinterland and riverine area grants, were able to return the school uniform grant, the because we care grant and increase old age pension,” President Ali reiterated.

Even in the hinterland, the government rehired more than 2, 000 Community Service Officers (CSOs) who were fired under the previous APNU+AFC Government.

Additionally, every household in  Achiwib  will benefit from the hinterland solar programme.