GWI commissions $30M water supply system for East Bank Berbice villages

-45 homes get first-time access

A Light Town Primary School Student turned on one of the newly installed stand pipes in the community on Thursday

The Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) on Thursday commissioned a $30 million water supply system that will serve Deutichem, De Kinderen, Highbury and Light Town, on the East Bank of Berbice, with potable water on a 24-hour basis.

The commissioning ceremony was held at Highbury and coincided with the observance of World Water Day.

A GWI statement subsequently said that with the new system, some 45 households from Deutichem to Light Town have gained first time access to potable water, which is being provided on a 24-hour basis by the Edinburgh Pump Station.

It noted that from February 1st to February 22nd, 2018, GWI installed some 1,600 lengths of pipe as well as new service connections for the residents of the four communities.

Managing Director of GWI Dr. Richard Van West-Charles, who delivered the keynote address at the commissioning ceremony, explained that the residents of various East Bank Berbice communities approached him at different times seeking access to a water supply in their communities. He also noted the protest by residents last November, which highlighted the situation.

Van West-Charles said that the entire project was undertaken by GWI staff, with no part contracted out and as a result he commended the workers for the installation of the pipe in “record time.”He told the residents gathered that the water company wants a partnership with its customer base, while stressing that customers must pay their bills in order to ensure that the company can function to the best of its capabilities.

Van West-Charles also used the occasion to highlight the need by the citizenry to seriously address the sustainable ways of “dealing with waste water treatment in all of our communities.”  He further stressed that in its preparation for what is to come from the outputs of the petroleum industry, Guyana must prepare itself “to look at its environmental behaviours, to look at its practices, and ensure that the waterways that we have are protected and safe.” He noted, that this means that this has to be the responsibility of every local government, every neighbourhood democratic council, every community and every leader in every sector throughout the country.

The residents of the East Bank communities who were gathered were all ecstatic about the new development in their villages, which they said was long overdue.

Mitford Ward, one resident, also made the call for access to electricity, noting that as the managers of GWI paid heed to their calls, he is hoping that the managers of the Guyana Power and Light Inc would also follow suit.

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