Region Nine to achieve 96 per cent water coverage with $1B investment- Min. Croal

The government will invest over $1 billion in Region Nine by the end of the year, with the aim of increasing water coverage to 96 per cent.

Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal made the announcement, during a recent outreach in Lethem.

“We will, by the end of this year, invest $1 billion to move water coverage in Region Nine from 76 per cent to approximately 96 per cent,” he stated.

Minister Croal reported that during the period 2020 to 2022, the administration invested more than $870 million in the region.

This saw new wells being completed in communities including; Annai, Rupertee, Aranaputa, Wowetta and Shulinab, Toka, Katoonarib, Potarinau, Parikwarinau, and St Ignatius, providing thousands of residents with access to water for the first time.

To achieve the targeted water coverage of 96 per cent, an additional $650 million was allocated in 2023, Minister Croal underscored.

The communities of Aishalton, Awarewarnau, Maruranau, Semonie, Quiko, Rupertee, and Fairview are among those to benefit from the investment.

Region Nine is the largest administrative region in Guyana. It is predominantly inhabited by Amerindian communities, with a total population of 24,238.

There are 57 main communities and several smaller settlements on the outskirts. These communities are spread across five sub-districts: North Rupununi, South Pakaraimas, Central Rupununi, South Central, and Deep South.

Water supply in the region is mainly sourced from aquifers accessed through boreholes or artesian wells. Some communities have access to surface water through streams, creeks, and natural springs from the mountains.

The housing and water minister highlighted that in comparison to other hinterland regions, the Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo stands out as the most advanced in terms of water coverage.

“What we have done is to invest more this year to move it to that 100 per cent so that we can concentrate on the other hinterland regions,” he underscored.

This year some $1.4 billion was earmarked for upgrading and extending water supply systems in hinterland communities across Regions One, Two, Seven, Eight, and Nine as part of the hinterland water programme.