$195M being invested in water wells at Parika, Lust-en-Rust

– 20,000 residents to benefit

Some 20,000 residents are set to benefit from two new water wells valued $195 million total, which are to be drilled at Parika Back and Lust-en-Rust, Essequibo Islands-West Demerara (Region Three).

Minister of Housing and Water, Hon. Collin Croal visited the proposed sites on Tuesday. He was accompanied by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI), Mr. Shaik Baksh.

Minister of Housing and Water, Hon. Collin Croal and GWI’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Shaik Baksh at the proposed site for the Parika Back well

The Lust-en-Rust, West Bank Demerara well, will be drilled at a cost of $115 million, benefiting some 12, 720 residents in that area, and neighbouring schemes including Recht door Zee and Onderneeming.

Minister Croal explained that once completed, residents can expect improved access to potable water. In terms of water quality, the Minister said the long-term plan is to upgrade the well into a Water Treatment Plant.

“Lust-en-Rust you know, has been frequently in the news and so a site has been identified, the land has been provided through Central Housing and Planning Authority.

Minister of Housing and Water, Hon. Collin Croal

In fact, five acres of land because we also have to look the long-term development and that is in addition to wells, eventually for the placement of treatment plants,” he said.

Addressing a small group of residents at Parika Back, Minister Croal reminded them of the Government’s commitment to improving their lives. It is for this reason that allocations were made to the tune of $80 million for the well there.

“Here at Parika Back, the NDC will within another two weeks, agree on a suitable location so that GWI can commence their process. It is expected to have a well here within the last quarter of this year,” he said.

Minister of Housing and Water, Hon. Collin Croal engaging residents of Parika Back

Mr. Baksh said the Parika Back well will provide first time access to potable water for over 8,000 persons. It will also have the capacity to serve 16,000 residents at 220 cubic meters of water per hour.

“This well will serve many areas here, Parika back dam, it will serve the Washington scheme also, which is a private developer scheme. We want to bring them.

We have to get some negotiated settlement, that is the residents with the owner of the lands, then we will take in Naamryck Backdam, Ruby Backdam and Barnes scheme also,” he said.

GWI’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Shaik Baksh

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Mora/Parika Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC), Mr. Jaideo Sookhoo, said residents are currently either purchasing water, accessing from the canal, or harvesting rain water. He expressed gratitude to the Government for the swift action taken to ensure the residents have access to potable water. This year, some $4 billion has been allocated to GWI for the development of water supply systems across the country. The utility company is now operating with a new five-year strategic plan, that aligns with the national priorities of providing clean, reliable and affordable water. The company is focused on increasing access to treated water coverage to 90 per cent, reducing non-revenue water and modernising the infrastructure.

An ariel view of the proposed site for the Lust-en-Rust water well