GWI working to improve potable water supply in hinterland

− new hinterland deptartment established

DPI, Guyana, Monday, January 7, 2019

The Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) has been focusing heavily on the improvement of infrastructure to provide access to potable water to Hinterland and Riverain Communities across Guyana.

The GWI Managing Director, Dr. Richard Van West-Charles announced that for the first time, the utility company has established a Department of Hinterland Support and Management with the aim of addressing the inequities that exist between the hinterland and coastland.

Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI), Managing Director, Dr. Richard Van West-Charles.

“President David Granger has called on us to address the inequities between the hinterland and coastal regions. We have had a rather itinerant approach to the hinterland and together with the board we discussed this matter and we have established a department of hinterland support and management.” The department is headed by Executive Director, Ramchand Jailall.

In 2018, the GWI drilled new wells at Koko, Moruca and Oronoque, Region one, at a cost of $8.7M, to provide potable water for more than 500 residents. There were also improved water service at Hosororo, new water treatment systems and increased hours of supply (from three to eight hours) at Barbina and Mabaruma.

In Mabaruma, Dr. Van West-Charles explained that the residents were experiencing a very low supply of water. Part of the problem, he said, was the infrastructure itself and GWI was able to do a number of corrective works to the mains and overhead tanks in Mabaruma. As a result, hours of water supply are expected to move from 12 to 24 hours.

The GWI was also able to correct the dysfunctionality of the network in Port Kaituma, Region One. “There is no way in Port Kaituma we could have had an efficient distribution system and we are still working on it and we are now drilling another well in the area,” Dr. Van West-Charles explained. GWI has commenced drilling a new well in the area. Treatment methods are also being put in place and the storage tank opposite the Amerindian Hostel rehabilitated.

Dr. Van West-Charles noted that shortly, the distribution and supply of water to residents of Port Kaituma, from the Citrus Grove to Fitzburg will be significantly improved.

A new water treatment system was also installed at Matthew’s Ridge, Region One and the new water supply systems at Four and Five Mile, Bartica, Region seven are in final stages. A catchment area was also constructed and a photovoltaic system distribution main installed in Chenapau, Region Eight to benefit over 200 residents.

Eight new wells were drilled in Deep South Rupununi and one at Industrial Park Region Nine to provide potable water to some 4,800 residents. This year, $50M was allocated to complete the distribution networks and storage tanks to complement the wells. Additional pumps and panels will also be procured.

“Remember there is no cost recovery in the Hinterland, so our responsibility is not only to operate the system but to provide electricity for the system to function. So, the cost for diesel is that of GWI, also the cost for electricity for example in a place like Region 10 is the responsibility of GWI, but the aim is to move to the point of 24-hour water access.”

The combination in terms of the hinterland is one of surface water, ground water and rainwater. At specific times during the year, there is constant rain, however, water is not being harvested for supply. The latter will be a main focus in the coming years, Dr. Van West-Charles said.

By: Synieka Thorne.

Image: Department of Public Information.

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