Paramakatoi water supply system now in testing phase

Georgetown, Guyana – Monday, July 15, 2019:  Paramakatoi residents will soon reap the benefits of a very complex project that began in 2017 to provide easy access to potable water for the community. The project, which was initiated through the signing of an MOU between the Guyana Water Incorporated and the village council, is now at an advanced stage where testing of the water system has commenced.

Dr. Van West-Charles, accompanied by technical personnel, on Sunday, July 14 travelled to Paramakatoi, (Potaro-Siparuni) Region 8 and trekked through the jungle to get a first-hand look of the recently completed water system so as to ensure all systems are in place for distribution to the community and for commissioning. While there, he turned on the valve to release water into the community to commence the testing phase of the new water supply system.

While meeting with residents to explain the magnitude of work the system entailed, Dr. Van West-Charles said it manifested who we are as a cooperative republic, as the input from all stakeholders involved was remarkable.

He thanked Mr. Christopher Cheong, a resident hired by GWI as a Clerk of Works, for his leadership in realizing the new water system. The Managing Director noted that the project presented many challenges, which engineers managed to overcome.

This project fits directly into the Green State Development Strategy since it is solely powered by photovoltaic systems and it is also a realization of Sustainable Development Goal number 6, Dr. Van West-Charles added.

According to Executive Director of Hinterland Services, Mr. Ramchand Jailal, the source for the new water system is two springs which come together in a catchment area.  It is then pumped half way up the hill using solar energy and stored in a reservoir. From there, another pump sends the water to a set of 12 storage tanks at the top of the mountain, where it is chlorinated then gravity-fed to the community through a total of 9km of transmission and distribution pipelines.

Two photovoltaic systems will power the water system during the day, while a generator will support the supply of power to the system. Additionally, GWI intends to set up an office in the community and provide training for the maintenance of the water supply system. This will in turn provide employment for residents.

Toshao of Paramakatoi, Mr. Gideon John and Deputy Toshao, Luelyn Sandwell expressed their gratitude to the Managing Director and GWI staff for not giving up on the project when it seemed impossible to get done. They specifically thanked Dr. Van West-Charles for taking time to travel the distance and walk the miles to ensure it was satisfactorily completed.

Meanwhile on the other side of Region 8, the team visited a well site in Campbelltown, Mahdia that was completed in April, 2019. Since then, approximately 1200 residents have been receiving improved water access, some of whom received first time access, with 20 hours of service a day.

The well was drilled at a depth of 426ft. Prior to this, residents exercised rainwater harvesting and purchased water from mobile trucks.

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