The Guyana Water Inc (GWI) yesterday said that Paramakatoi’s water system was functioning at the time it was asked to investigate claims of poor supply.
Stressing that it is not responsible for the water supply in the Region Eight village, GWI said that one month ago, the company dispatched a team led by Capital Investment and Planning Director Ramchand Jailal, to assess the situation and provide any technical assistance to the local administration, following reports of disruption in the water supply.
GWI said it was observed that the original system that was constructed was modified by the residents of Paramakatoi because of the dry season being experienced.
GWI said it also observed the following:
1) the system comprising of a storage reservoir which receives water from a spring was operable at the time. The reservoir was 75% filled and supplying water to the community via a photovoltaic pumping system. However, GWI said that it was observed that the tank was leaking a small amount of water and a sealant was required.
2) Despite the leak on the storage reservoir, GWI said that the system was fully operational and water was being supplied to the dormitory and other nearby locations. The company said it is in possession of images which show water being accessible at the dormitory and other locations within the community.
3) According to the CIP Director, it was noted that the spring, which is one of the sources of water for the community, had a significantly reduced flow, and this was attributed to the dry season that was being experienced in the Region.
The release said that the GWI team shared these observations with the local administration and offered to provide any further assistance. Before departure, GWI representatives urged the local administration to contact it with any further issues which might require the company’s assistance.
Subsequently, a meeting was held with the Toshao of Paramakatoi in Georgetown and he was advised that a sealant to assist with the repair of the tank was being imported and repair works would be undertaken shortly.
GWI said it commenced acquisition of the sealant to repair the reservoir which could not be sourced locally and will be in a position to dispatch a team to undertake the repair works within two weeks. GWI said it received no further report from the local administration after the initial visit about the system being nonfunctional or that residents were being affected. In addition, it said that it must be noted that the system involves the use of standpipes placed throughout the community and it is customary that some residents have to walk short distances from their homes for water.
GWI further stated that the water supply system which serves Paramakatoi is under the purview of the local administration.
“GWI does not have a presence in this Region and the responsibility for operation and management of the water infrastructure lies with the local authorities”, it said.
On May 22, the Alliance For Change had said that severe erosion of the well at Paramakatoi had made the task of accessing potable water onerous.
According to Region Eight Chairman and AFC MP, Mark Crawford, conditions were so distressing that schoolchildren were made to fetch a five-gallon bottle of water over 1500 feet to the school dormitory.
He said that the children struggle with the task and the way in which the pipe is located it is very muddy and slippery.
He said that “many of them can’t even heist the bottles, the bottles weigh the same as them.”
Crawford added that “the kids are forced to spend time waiting on the trickle of water and then carrying the heavy bottles to flush toilets, it is unacceptable.”
The Alliance for Change had called on the government to immediately fix the well. In a statement the AFC had stated that “it is shameful that the village of Paramakatoi cannot have an operable well. If this is a demonstration of the government’s level of commitment to the Amerindian People, it leaves much to be desired.”
The AFC had also supplied photos of children from the Paramakatoi dormitory fetching water.