GWI being retooled to better serve Guyanese

─water treatment to upscale

The Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) is undergoing significant restructuring to bring access to potable water to unserved and underserved communities countrywide.

Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Hon. Susan Rodrigues

During a recent interview on DPI’s ‘The Progress Report’, Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Hon. Susan Rodrigues, said one of the major focuses of the utility company is to expand water treatment.

“As it is right now, we are not in compliance with WHO [World Health Organization] standards in terms of iron content,” the Minister, noted.

In a previous interview with DPI, she had stated that only 52 per cent of the nation’s population receives treated water. As such the Ministry in 2020 concluded a detailed proposal for the expansion of water treatment starting with the coastland.

The proposal seeks to bring treated water along the coast to at least 95 per cent. The Government is actively sourcing $100 million in capital to execute this project.

The Minister told DPI, “we certainly want to rectify that; that is a top priority for us and so we’re aggressively pursuing.”

Minister Rodrigues added that the new PPP/C Government found the company in a dire financial state when it assumed office in August.

“We’re looking closely at the company to see if we can at least break even…The company is bankrupt. We’re trying to ensure that we can restructure it in such a way to make it more lean and efficient so that we can provide better service to our citizens” the Minister stated.

Minister Rodrigues noted that the company’s customer service capacity has also been revamped. A dashboard was created to monitor the water pressure and service levels in communities and to address issues that may arise before customers complain.

She also recounted GWI’s recent success under this PPP/C Government in bringing first time access to several communities along the coast and in the hinterland, thereby bridging disparities.

In 2021 this progress is slated to continue, bringing much relief to thousands of Guyanese and in keeping with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal Six and the PPP/C manifesto pledge to ensure access to clean water and sanitation.