De Willem residents accessing potable water for the first time

Thousands of residents of De Willem Housing Scheme, West Coast Demerara are accessing potable water for the first time, due to a timely intervention by Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Hon. Susan Rodrigues.

Minister Rodrigues, along with a technical team from the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) and the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) visited the area on Tuesday, where she engaged the residents on water and other issues affecting them.

The Minister said the area is now connected to the Zeeburg water distribution network as part of a temporary solution to ease residents’ water woes. She said the CH&PA will undertake a long-term solution to the issue. 

“The more permanent solution will be undertaken by the Central Housing and Planning Authority so you will connect directly from the Uitvlugt water treatment plant,” Minister Rodrigues explained.

Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Hon. Susan Rodrigues along with team in the De Willem Housing Scheme, West Coast Demerara

The De Willem Housing Scheme was fully established under the PPP/C Administration in 2015. However, Minister Rodrigues said, no work was done in the area over the last five years to install the necessary infrastructure.

“Regrettably, these things are happening now after persons are already occupying the scheme and this is something that has plagued the Ministry over the last few years and it is undesirable. We don’t want to keep repeating whereby, we develop a new housing area and it’s allocated and then years after the necessary infrastructure has not been put in place,” she said.  

Minister Rodrigues said the Ministry would also be implementing a policy where after an area is identified for housing development, all the necessary infrastructure, including bridges, roads, drainage, electrical and water distribution network must be put in place before persons start to occupy that area.

Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Hon. Susan Rodrigues and this resident test the water

Meanwhile, in keeping with a promise made by His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali on Saturday, Minister Rodrigues returned to Golden Grove, East Coast Demerara, to address the issue of discoloured water in that area.

She told the residents that following an assessment by the Guyana Water Incorporated, it was found that the poor water quality was due to leaks in the distribution system and lines, which had not been serviced in over a year.

Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Hon. Susan Rodrigues engaging residents of De Willem Housing Scheme, West Coast Demerara

The Minister said that the short-term solution to this problem would be to repair the leakages and flush out the lines to reduce water contamination. In addition, GWI would start scheduled maintenance to prevent a recurrence of the issue.  

“This will improve the water pressure and the quality will be better,” she explained.

Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Hon. Susan Rodrigues addressing the residents of Golden Grove

The long-term solution, Minister Rodrigues said, would see the provision of water filtration systems to Golden Grove and other communities in keeping with the Ministry’s efforts to improve water quality countrywide.

The team also addressed several other issues including housing and electricity, as well as matters pertaining to the need for a scheduled garbage collection.   

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