GWI to end Parabara water woes

― first time accessing potable water to combat mining-related water contamination

― hinterland to receive several water upgrades and wells

DPI, Guyana, Friday, May 10, 2019

Close to 200 Indigenous persons from Parabara, Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo Region will soon benefit from a new well being dug by the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI). The well will combat the rising climate change and mining pollution-related problems that have plagued the Indigenous community.

Parabara sits in the Deep South Rupununi along the scenic Kuyuwini River which serves as their primary water source along with seven hand-dug wells.

Indigenous peoples of Parabara, Region 9.

According to the Managing Director of GWI Dr. Richard Van West-Charles, GWI will be enlisting a more aggressive approach to ensure that residents have a better-quality water supply system.

The residents who are of Wai-Wai and Wapichan heritage rely on farming, fishing and hunting as their main economic activities and depend heavily on mining for their livelihoods. There are about three mining areas, including Marudi, close to the village.

Over the years, mining activities have caused the Kuyuwini River to become filled with pollutants. GWI has decided to act to ensure that all residents have access to safe, clean potable water for consumption and other domestic purposes as encouraged by the United Nations Sustainable Development Programme (UNDP) Goal 6 which strives to provide clean water and sanitation worldwide.

“We’ve completed visits to about 33 villages in Region 9 and we’ve drilled a number of wells already,” Dr. Van West-Charles said.

Parabara Village is a priority area in the Rupununi for the agency and will be served using resources from the supplemental budget that GWI has recently requested.

Following the recent completion of a project with UNDP and Japanese Agencies for climate change action, GWI has been able to dig wells in several Indigenous communities in the regoin.

Recently, GWI dug and commissioned wells in St. Ignatius, Sand Creek, Nappi, Aranaputa, Karasabai, Hiawa, and Parashara.

Nateshia Isaacs.

Image: Department of Public Information.