Water, sanitation, other services to be boosted in Region One

Minister Croal

The Ministry of Housing has unveiled several plans to improve access to potable water, enhance drainage and irrigation, and other infrastructure in Barima-Waini (Region One), all aimed at making communities more sustainable.

Minister, Hon. Collin Croal and Regional Chairman, Mr. Brentnol Ashley outlined those plans when they met residents of Smith Creek, Morawhanna, Koberimo, Yarakita, Kamwatta and White Water earlier this week. 

 A new well is expected to be dug which will improve water supply and bring Guyana closer to achieving Sustainable Development Goal Goal Six: ensuring access to water and sanitation for all.

The rig is currently in Region Nine and will move to Region Eight, before starting work in Region One.

Meanwhile, Morawhanna residents will benefit from improved water supply and efforts will be made to ensure that water stored in tanks is purified. 

At Smith Creek, the Minister said consideration would be given to making tanks available to the community to lessen some of the challenges they have accessing potable water.

“There was also a suggestion about sourcing water from the creek [and] we’re exploring that, but distance seems to be prohibiting because we want to do a long-term solution,” Minister Croal said.  

Drainage and irrigation services will also be upgraded in several communities, particularly at Morawhanna as the Government takes steps to mitigate flooding.

A number of plans are also in train for the Wauna sub-district.

“In Wanaina we are looking to increase the reservoir that we’re taking the water from, so that we can improve the pumping hours going back to Wauna and coming up to Wanaina stretch,” Minister Croal said. 

Meanwhile, a team from the Guyana Water Incorporated is conducting assessments at Yarakita, White Water and Kamwatta.

Kamwatta is expected to have an independent well through provisions in the 2021 Budget.

Additionally, the Regional Chairman informed residents at Koberimo that the first phase of the access road would start this month and be completed by the end of the year, while the road linking Mabaruma and Barima will be completed by the end of 2021.

The electricity grid at Koberimo will also be expanded, which will result in more hours of service in this and other communities connected to the grid.

Efforts also are being made to restart the Region’s economy through the resumption of the Community Support Officers programme. The programme fosters community development utilising a bottom-up approach and nurtures opportunities for more skilled persons coming out of the communities. Additionally, construction of sanitary facilities is set to start across the region at primary and secondary schools. Similar projects are already underway at health centres.