Emphasis to be placed on water as a resource

DPI, GUYANA, Monday, August 14, 2017

Guyana, the land of many waters could soon be mining this valuable asset to ensure that communities across Guyana have access to it.

The water reservoir located on Nappi lands in central Rupununi, Region Nine, will bring relief to indigenous communities during the dry season.

The Ministry of Natural Resources is collaborating with the Ministry of Communities to explore water as a future resource, Minister Raphael Trotman told the Department of Public Information (DPI) in a recent interview.

“More emphasis is going to be placed on water. We are exploring ways…we can conserve water, ensure that it is safe and drinkable and clean and of course free from contaminants,” Minister Trotman said.

These efforts include the creation of water reservoirs to bring relief to communities that are affected by harsh dry seasons. “In drought time every creek, every pond dries,” Toshao of Nappi Walter Henico told the DPI.

Nappi is one of the indigenous villages in Central Rupununi, Region Nine that is benefitting from a water reservoir.  Construction of this public-private partnership project began earlier this year to bring relief to indigenous communities of central Rupununi during the dry season.

The catchment area identified is a natural depression in the land in a section not utilised by the community for either farming or cattle rearing. The area will hold approximately three cubic meters of water.

The catchment area, although not fully completed, has accumulated water from the heavy May/June rains. Toshao Henrico said this will bring relief to the villagers who farm and raise animals for their livelihoods.

“It’s not only Nappi. It’s Parashara and Hiawa. So we’re still planning with Parashara and Hiawa how can we work together (to use the water),” Toshao Henrico explained. A similar reservoir is being planned for South Rupununi.

Minister Trotman noted that as the government explores water as a resource, his ministry’s focus will be to ensure that the waterways are not polluted through mining.

“We have to ensure that where mining is taking place that the waters are not, or pollution is kept at a minimum. There is going to be some disruption but we are going to keep those disruptions to a minimum,” Minister Trotman explained.

This means restricting mining of minerals near head waters and sources of natural waters. “Recently, Cabinet made a determination that application for mining would not be permitted in an area known as Parish Peak…because the head waters of the Demerara River are right there,” Minister Trotman revealed.

This focus on water is part of the government’s green state drive and also supplements the work of the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) to provide adequate potable water to communities across Guyana.

 

By: Tiffny Rhodius

Toshao of Nappi, Walter Henrico.

Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman.

 

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