254 Itabac residents can now access potable water

About 254 residents of Itabac Village in the North Pakaraimas, Region Eight, now have access to drinkable water for the first time, following the commissioning of a new $47 million water delivery system there.

Water is being delivered straight to residents’ houses, eliminating the need for them to rely entirely on rainfall or go far distances to the rivers for water.

The new network uses a photovoltaic pumping system for power and has a 150-metre-deep well with storage tanks.

The construction of the water supply system was undertaken by R. Kissoon Contracting Services.

Commissioning of new $47 million water supply system in Itabac

Minister of Housing and Water Collin Croal, who spearheaded the commissioning ceremony on Monday was accompanied by the Guyana Water Incorporated’s (GWI) Hinterland Services Director, Ramchand Jailall, along with engineers and other officials.

The aim is to increase access to potable water by 100 per cent in the hinterland regions by 2025.

“Just over half of Region Eight was accessing potable water, including the community of Itabac…By the end of last year, we were at 87 per cent coverage in Region Eight, including the community of Itabac,” Minister Croal emphasised.

Minister Croal delivering remarks at the commissioning ceremony

The region saw an investment of $521 million for over 15 new wells.  

The minister noted, “By the time we are finished this year in Region Eight with another budgeted projection of a minimum of $200 million, we will therefore be spending over $721 million in four years in Region Eight.”

Minister Croal also highlighted the other investments the community is benefitting from to improve the standard of living.

Residents during the commissioning ceremony in Region Eight

As Amerindian communities are benefitting from resources and programmes, Itabac has received various investments over the years to fast-track development.

In three years, Itabac received $31.3 million in various grants, including $15 million in carbon credit funds last year. 

From that sum, the community purchased a tractor and trailer.

In 2022, Region Eight received funding from the presidential grants totalling some $40 million. It was then increased to $49.7 million in 2023. In relation to employment opportunities, close to $400,000 is being paid every month to the community service officers (CSOs) in the community.