Three East Bank of Berbice villages now have access to potable water

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DPI, Guyana, Friday, March 23, 2018

Residents of Highbury, Light Town, and Deutichan on the East Bank of Berbice will now receive 24 hours supply of potable water to their homes following the commissioning of a water supply system.

The $30M water distribution network was completed less than three months after residents made an appeal for reliable access to water. The Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) commissioning exercise done at Highbury coincided with the observation of World Water Day under the theme “Nature For Water”

Managing Director of GWI, Dr. Richard Van West-Charles while delivering remarks called on all stakeholders to be mindful of the eco-system and the impact of waste disposal, clogged drainage systems and contamination of water has on the environment and human life.

“We have to recognise the importance of the resource for our survival going forward. Our local government, our municipalities, our central government have to sit up and pay due regard to the maintenance of our drains… every 21 seconds a child dies globally due to water-related issues. Hence this matter of access to potable water is vital, the access to sanitation and hygiene is very critical,” Dr. Van West-Charles said.

He noted that the issue is not singular to GWI but relevant to all sectors of development, hence, the need to ensure waterways are protected and safe. “This must be a responsibility of everyone, if not embraced we will be in trouble as a people.”

Further, Dr. Van West-Charles committed to ensuring that communities without access to water will soon be able to benefit since GWI is currently working to provide every household with potable water

“We have to map out all of the communities that do not have access…because as a society we must make it happen. Our numbers are small enough to make it happen in a collective approach.”

Delivering remarks on behalf of Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan, was Preston Prince who said the commissioning of the water distribution network is a significant achievement for the government and the people.

“This project helps to meet the requirement for reliable, sustainable and improved supply of quality water for the residents of these communities. We are all aware these areas were neglected over the years but I can assure you this present government’s intention is to ensure every citizen of this country have access to potable water wherever they live”.

Additionally, he noted the livelihood and equality of the people is paramount to government’s agenda.

“The development of our infrastructure in an equitable way continues to be a top priority of this government whether it’s the supply of potable water, enhancing our network of roads or improving our health care sector this administration is concerned that the livelihood of its people is not compromised.”

Residents who have lived in the community for over 50 years, recalled the days of being dependent on water being trucked or for their daily use or resorting to fetching water from a well in a nearby community.

Light Town resident, Mitford Warde said, “today we celebrate because what would have transpired after that first meeting is indeed remarkable. I must compliment the officials of GWI and the administration for acceding to our request for potable water in our community.”


By: Nafeeza Yahya Sakur


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