Guyana’s water sources must be protected as demand increases – Min. Croal
Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal, M.P said with the increase in demand for water in Guyana, it is imperative that all of the country’s water sources are protected to ensure reliable, safe and clean water distribution to citizens.
In this regard, he said the administration has set clear objectives and targets towards achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Number Six – water and sanitation for all by 2030.
Minister Croal was at the time delivering remarks at an exhibition hosted by the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) in observance of World Water Day 2022.
“We have to explore, analyse and monitor our ground water resources to better protect and manage them. To do this requires accountability, new technologies to optimise water usage data that can inform policy decisions on the water sector,” he said.
The achievement of these goals, Minister Croal said, requires massive investments, and for the period 2020 to 2022, more than $21.5 billion has been invested for water and sanitation.
“So, these allocations have been put towards improving the quality of water available and the water network in communities that are most in need; upgrading the water infrastructure and by this, I mean ensuring that the quality of pipes laid can withstand new demands, repairing and replacing broken mains and expanding water coverage to more citizens and communities,” the housing minister added.
He said the investment has resulted in the installation of new wells at Wakenaam, Providence, Lusignan, Diamond and Parika Backdam, as well as a number of communities in the hinterland. The replacing of old transmission mains at Vlissengen Road, Newtown Kitty, Cemetery Road and Bartica will also materialize.
As a result, more than 11,000 citizens now have access to potable water for the first time.
Currently, there are some 275 wells operated by the GWI on the coast and the hinterland, as well over 20 that are privately owned.
GWI’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Sheik Baksh said in order to support the government’s massive housing drive, there will be need for an additional 150 wells on the coast and hinterland regions.
“We have studied the 29 new housing development areas developed and we have looked at the sources of water supplies required for this housing drive and we have come up with a figure of 8 to 10 new wells will be required over the next three to four years,” he further explained.
Meanwhile, Chief Hydrometeorological Officer, Dr. Garvin Cummings spoke of the effects of climate change to the quality and quantity of ground water. He applauded the ministry’s effort to explore the use of conservancies as a credible source of potable water supply.
A number of agencies including the GWI, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Hydrometeorological Service of the Ministry of Agriculture had their products on display at the event.
World Water Day 2022 is being observed under the theme ‘Groundwater: making the invisible visible.