Mara water system recommissioned at cost of $5M

- Light Town, Highbury residents protest for potable supply

A ceremonial ribbon on one of the pipe

The Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) on Thurs-day recommissioned the Mara Water System which had been non-functional for several years, at a cost of some $5M.

Dr Richard Van West-Charles, Managing Director of the Guyana Water Incorporated, during a ceremony at the Schepmoed Primary School on Thursday morning, noted that the recommissioning of the water system would not have been possible without support from residents and the workers responsible for ensuring the system was back to a functioning state. “This is a good example where the community comes together with companies to try to ensure that we bring service to you,” he said.

The Mara Water System had been down for several years since thieves in the area stole 24 costly solar panels that provided electricity to the system.

From left are Minister Dawn Hastings-Williams and Dr Richard Van West-Charles, Managing Director of the Guyana Water Incorporated

The Managing Director further stated that the new panels can supply the area with water for six hours per day. He added that in another two weeks, a few batteries will be added to supply water for 24 hours per day. He said that the community had also donated one battery to ensure that they receive water for the entire day.

He then stressed that GWI completed several other projects at various locations in Region Six from New Amsterdam to Molsen Creek and beyond over the past few years. He noted that other projects are also in the works and are expected to be completed between year-end and the first half of next year. He explained that New Amsterdam is expected to see an improvement in its water system, which will give the town treated water all day. In addition, a new laboratory is expected to be installed in Port Mourant, Corentyne.

Also present at the recommissioning ceremony was Minister within the Ministry of Public Affairs, Dawn Hastings-Williams, who pleaded with residents to watch over the solar panels and ensure no one interferes with them. She also encouraged residents to speak out if they witness any wrong doings.

Meanwhile, as the Minister, Managing Director of GWI and other officials along with the media made their way to the recommissioning ceremony of the system, residents of Highbury Village and Light Town Village took the opportunity to stage a protest for potable water supply in their areas as well.

The residents used several barrels and water tanks to block the road, while demanding an explanation from the authorities.

Van West-Charles then told the protestors that water was, at the moment, being transported into the area in trucks. He explained that plans to rehabilitate the well at Sisters Village and other areas are in the works. He said that he will work along with the Regional authorities to remedy the situation, however, time is needed. As such he asked the residents to be patient and to cooperate with the water authority.

Hastings-Williams also spoke briefly with the residents assuring them of their commitment to delivering potable water. She told the residents that she understood their plight, and stressed that GWI is working to improve this. She said, “… We want to ensure that we deliver water, safe potable water to your homes.”


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