Govt aiming for 100 per cent water coverage in hinterland by 2025 – Minister Croal

The PPP/C Government, through its national water strategy being executed by the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI), is aiming for 100 per cent water coverage in the hinterland.

Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal, MP, said although 98 per cent of the hinterland communities has the infrastructure in place to supply potable water, only 70 per cent of the population has access to potable water, due the layout of the communities.

Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal, MP and team inspecting the well being drilled at Toka, Region Nine.

This means that those with no direct access to potable water have to walk long distances to access water or practise rainwater harvesting.

“This is not the standard that our government wants for its citizens,” Minister Croal noted while addressing residents of Lethem during a recent housing drive in the town ship.  

To this end, as part of its aggressive campaign to address the inequities in access to potable water, GWI will be expending $120 million for water distribution systems including new wells, a new water network, photovoltaic systems and elevated water storage at Yakarinta, Rupunau, Katoka and Apoteri.

Minister Croal announced that another $43 million will be invested to complete new water systems in Para Bara, Wichibai, Curicock, Jawari and Nappi through the Regional Democratic Council.

This year, more than $150 million has been invested in Region Nine alone to improve access to clean, safe water. This resulted in the drilling of water wells at Shulinab, Shea, Annai, and Culvert City, Lethem to provide an improved level of service and new service connections to more than 500 residents.

Some 1,400 residents are benefiting from the St. Ignatius distribution network which was upgraded to improve access to potable water. A new well was drilled in Parikwaranau and the construction of a new water supply system is nearing completion to benefit some 600 persons.

The communities of Toka, Katoonarib and Potarinau now have new wells which were recently commissioned with distribution systems, benefitting 1,320 residents.

Additionally, under the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF), the construction of an expanded water supply system is being completed in Rupertee, Shulinab, Aranaputa and Wowetta to provide service to more than 95 per cent of these communities.

In the Lethem township, a new office is being constructed to house the staff of GWI and the Central Housing and Planning Authority.  The building is expected to be completed by the end of December.

“When this building is finished, residents of Lethem and its surrounding communities will be able to access the services of CHPA and GWI without having to travel to Georgetown,” Minister Croal said.

Community Support Officers (CSO) were also trained to ensure that the water supply systems are efficiently managed and maintained within those communities.

Similar works are being done in other communities in the hinterland Regions – One, Seven, Eight and Nine. During the first half of the year, the housing and water ministry spent $148 million to complete expansion works at Mabaruma, Barabina and Wainaina, Region One. This includes the installation of electric motor-driven pumps at Mabaruma and Barabina.

Earlier this year, new wells were completed at Port Kaituma and Oronoque in Region One. New wells will also be drilled at Baramita, Arakaka, Matthews Ridge, Khan’s Hill, Wauna, Kwebanna, Huradiah, Waramuri and Manawarin using the same model as the one existing in Region Nine.  Further, water supply systems are also being upgraded at Jawalla and Kamarang in Region Seven; and Monkey Mountain, Taruka and Kaibarupai in Region Eight.

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