Cooperative Republic of Guyana

Local Region Nine residents to help manage water situation – GWI to provide support

The Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) is embarking on a more aggressive approach to enhance its efficiency and effectiveness in providing a better quality of service to Region Nine residents.

The water company will provide training, relevant materials and tools for persons within the respective villages to assist in monitoring the water situation within the Region. These persons will be paid through the village councils.

“…We have agreed that aggressive maintenance of our systems in the villages is one that requires our attention and during our discussion with the Toshaos we have come to an agreement that in each village we will (GWI) establish a contract with the Toshaos and the village councils. They will identify somebody who will do the maintenance of the systems, both the photovoltaic and the distribution systems,” GWI’s Chief Executive Officer, Richard Van West- Charles told the Government Information Agency.

This decision was taken recently during a four- day outreach in Region Nine to assess the aftermath of El Nino weather pattern, which has been affecting the region since last year.

GWI officers were accompanied by the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, who met with leaders from the North and South Rupununi. During that meeting, residents raised concerns about the quality of the water supplied, and communication between the residents and the GWI staff.

Van West-Charles said, the purpose of the visit was to look at the organisational management of GWI in Region Nine, and to assess the result of the drought.

GWI is also moving to test the water which is distributed to the residents, and to the health and education facilities, to ensure that the water is of an acceptable quality.

He noted that Region Nine is expansive, and that there are challenges in servicing the area because of its geography, however, the water company is seeking to ensure that it can provide better services to the population.
Van West-Charles explained that the GWI has signed an agreement with the Region Nine Administration to drill initially eight wells, primarily in the South Rupununi. He said that the water company will continue to monitor the situation to determine where more wells can be dug.

A GWI office will also be established in Lethem to enhance communication among GWI and its customers, the Regional Democratic Councils, and the Lethem town council. The water company is in currently in discussion with a number of experts to assist in that area and is taking a strategic approach to look at the harvesting and security of water in the Region.

During the visit, a new well was commissioned at the New Culvert City, Lethem that will benefit hundreds of residents within Culvert City and various parts of Lethem. New Culvert City well has a depth of about 187 feet, is equipped with a 5- horsepower pump and a distribution system of over 12 cubic meters per hour.

Additionally, the GWI in collaboration with the Brazilian army, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Society for Sustainable Operational Strategies (SSOS), and the Region Nine Administration are drilling a number of wells throughout the Region to lessen the challenges in sourcing potable water in the dry periods. (GINA)

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