More than $27B invested in water sector since 2020
Sustainable water management and the maintenance and construction of adequate water supply infrastructure, remain paramount to the government’s vision for improving the lives of all Guyanese.
This vision is in keeping with the aim of achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Six, which aims to ensure access to water and sanitation for all, before 2030.
President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali has disclosed that since assuming office in 2020, the government has invested more than $27 billion in Guyana’s water sector to achieve this goal.
President Ali made the disclosure during a press conference at the Office of the President on Wednesday.
He noted that part of the government’s efforts to reduce the hardships that citizens and businesses face in the water sector has seen some 178, 000 consumers benefitting from a five per cent reduction in water tariffs in 2021.
As a result, an annual amount of $260 million in disposable income returned into the pockets of citizens.
This move, along with the removal of the value-added tax on potable water, which was imposed by the previous administration, brought relief to Guyanese.
“More than 28, 000 pensioners are receiving free water supply, for up to 10 cubic metres of water per month, and this relief is being fully subsidised by the government to the tune of $523 million,” he added.
Further, communities in all 10 regions received improved and increased access to safe water supply through the installation of new mains, upgrade of aged and existing infrastructure, and the drilling of more than 30 new wells, bringing the total number of public wells to more than 300 nationwide.
The effort has already seen more than 30,000 persons gaining access to potable water for the first time.
On the urban water supply landscape, more than 50,000 residents have also benefitted from improved service delivery and quality as a direct result of the government’s $410 million investment.
Further, in the hinterland and riverine communities, 20 new wells and water systems have also been completed.
“New wells and distribution networks have been completed in many new communities, in Regions One, Seven, Eight, and Nine. The proportion of the hinterland population with access to potable water has significantly increased to 75 per cent,” he said.
Meanwhile, under the Public Sector Investment programme for the water sector, from 2020 to date, the government has supplied some $19 billion for the coastal water supply system, $2.9 billion for the hinterland water supply system and more than $3.7 billion for the urban water and sewage programme.
“We have invested heavily in implementation of a US$200 million coastal water treatment programme. This investment will provide improved water quality and level of service, to 260, 000 persons, or 65, 000 households,” President Ali stated.