Three new multi-million-dollar wells commissioned in North Rupununi
Close to 1500 residents of the North Rupununi, (Region Nine), will benefit from first time access to potable water, as three new water distribution systems were commissioned in Aranaputa, Wowetta and Rupertee on Saturday.
The distribution systems cost over $100 million – $37.2 million for the system at Aranaputa, $25.8 million for one in Rupertee and $27.2 million for another in Wowetta. The systems were jointly funded by the Government of Guyana, through the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) and the Caribbean Development Bank’s Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF), under the Ministry of Finance.
The scope of works for the respective projects included installation of a distribution network to facilitate household level service for the first time, and the construction of a storage facility for adequate supply and improved level of service.
Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, M.P, and Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal, M.P, officially handed over the water supply systems to the respective communities. The ministers were joined by Regional Chairman, Brian Allicock and Regional Executive Officer, Karl Singh among other technical officers from the finance ministry.
During his remarks, Minister Singh said that when the PPP/C Government came into office in 2020, potable water coverage in the hinterland was at mere 6o per cent. Immediately, the government, through the Ministry of Housing and Water developed a strategic plan that will see 100 per cent coverage in Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine and riverine communities on the coast, by the end of the administration’s first term in office.
For instance, in Aranaputa, prior to the new system only 20 percent of the population were receiving potable water; 25 percent in Wowetta and 50 percent in Rupertee. Today, Dr. Singh revealed that all residents of those communities are receiving potable water to their homes through standpipes.
Minister Singh also took the opportunity to outline some of the major transformational projects in the pipeline for the Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo Region, including the construction of the Linden to Mabura road and the construction of 32 bridges along the Linden to Lethem corridor.
“It means immediately, connectivity will be improved once the bridges are completed. It means that jobs will be created and economic activities generated, construction materials will have to be purchased, construction workers will have to be working on those bridges. And so, even during the construction phase you will see economic activity being generated for all of the communities along the alignment of that road,” Minister Singh told the residents.
He also spoke of His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Ali’s ‘One Guyana’ vision, which is not only an emotional concept evolving around unity, but ensuring that economic development is delivered to each and every community throughout the country.
Minister Croal said that while over 75 percent of Region Nine villagers have access to potable water, the aim is to have 100 percent coverage by 2025. With the commissioning of three new wells in the North Rupununi, over 90 percent of those communities will now have access to potable water.
This year, a total of five wells will be drilled in Region Nine through GWI. Another well will be drilled in the region by the regional administration in Sand Creek and another by BNTF in Surama.
“As a government, we are committed to ensuring that every village, regardless of location or political persuasions, your location, your race or background, every citizen will be on the same path of development,” Minister Croal emphasised. Community Support Officers (CSOs) of the communities were also trained and equipped to manage and maintain the systems in the respective villages.