$26M water supply system commissioned at Annai

residents now have access to potable water

Some 400 residents of Annai, North Rupununi, Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) are now receiving potable water for the first time, with the commissioning of a $26 million water distribution system.

Minister of Housing and Water Collin Croal, overlooks the cutting of the ribbon for the newly commissioned distribution system

Housing and Water Minister, Collin Croal and Regional Chairman, Bryan Allicock attended the commissioning ceremony at the Annai Village Benab on Thursday.

Toshao, Michael Williams said the establishment of a potable water source in his community will provide a significant boost to the living standards of residents, who will no longer have to ‘fetch water in a bucket’ from a single shallow hand-dug well that existed years ago. 

“You know where you come from the farm or come from fishing or whatever, you are tired and you still have to go down the hill with a bucket to fetch… Now with the system, the water is coming straight into your yard…I am not getting the water in my kitchen to my sink and in my shower,” he noted

Williams said with the new development, the village council will now be able to embark on its sanitation project where every household will benefit from sanitary blocks. He said, “this is really a plus for our village.”

The new distribution system for Annai, Region Nine

During brief remarks at the commissioning ceremony, Minister Croal said the new system will see water coverage in the area moving from 40 to 98 per cent. In addition to the individual households, the school and the teachers’ quarter will also benefit.

Minister Croal said since August 2020, the PPP/C Administration invested over $200 million within Region Nine to improve the service to the various communities.

Among works completed so far is the drilling of new wells in Shulinab, Shea, Annai and Culvert City Lethem, Parikawarinau, Katoonarib, Potarinau, Sandcreek, Rupertee, Aranaputa and Wowetta to provide an improved level of service and new service to thousands of residents. Upgrades were also done to the system at St. Ignatius.

This year, Minister Croal announced that new systems will be put in place in Rupunau, Katoka, Yakarinta, Sawariwau, Quarrie and Parabara to provide first-time access and improved service to residents. The ministry will also upgrade and extend the distribution systems within the communities of Meriwau, Sand Creek, Achiwib, Karadarunau (Krowdar), Masakenari and Shea.

Through the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF), water supply systems will also be expanded in Surama and Nappi.

The interventions are part of the government’s five-year strategic plan which aims to provide 100 per cent water access across Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine, and riverine communities. It is also in keeping with the Government of Guyana’s commitment to achieving Sustainable Development Goal number six- Water and Sanitation for All.

And that was what form part of our manifesto, uplifting your quality of life… equally important is to ensure that we have programmes for the hinterland that are advantageous to you because we must bridge the gap between the coastland and the hinterland,” the minister told the residents.

Minister of Housing and Water Collin Croal drinks from a pipe with potable water flowing following the distribution of a $26 million distribution system in Annai

Under the ministry’s 2023 programme, plans are also in place to expand the water systems in Aranaputa, Moco Moco, Karasabai, Wowetta, Quiko, Massara, Baitoon, Potarinau, Crashwater, Kattur, Tiger Pond, Yurong Paru, Parishara,  Kumu, Kaicumbay, Cracrana, Bashaidrun. There will also be the drilling of a deep water well and extension of the water supply system in Deep South Rupununi at Aishalton, Awarewarnau, and Maruranau villages, as well as in Hiowa, Quatata, Shiriri, Katoonarib and Rupertee villages. Through the Regional Democratic Council (RDC), drilling of new wells and construction of a distribution network will be done in Semonie, Apoteri, Rewa, Fairview, Tiperu and Rukumuta.