Over 3,200 residents around the country have been able to gain access to potable water for the first time within the last six months, Managing Director of the Guyana Water Inc. (GWI) Dr. Richard Van West-Charles said on Friday.
Van West-Charles made the pronouncement at the water company’s mid-year review of their achievements over the last six months.
He said that they have been able to complete major projects in all the administrative regions in the country that would’ve seen potable water being delivered for the first time to a large number of residents as well as the improvement in water quality and service.
With respect to Region 1, 1,800 residents from Rincon, Koko and Kamwatta were able to receive water for the first time while residents in Region Two were able to benefit from increased hours of supply and improved service due to frequency conversion exercises at the Lima Water Treatment Plant and the Somerset Pump Station. Residents of the Anna Regina housing scheme were also able to benefit from an increased level of service.
Region Three saw 403 residents of Zeelugt Phase 3 gain first-time access to potable water with an additional 2,000 customers projected to benefit from the project by September. Additionally, 2,510 meters of pipelines were installed from Goed Fortuin to De Kinderen and a new commercial office was opened at Parika. In Georgetown, after 17 years, the Shelter Belt storage reservoir was completely cleaned as due to the purchasing of new equipment they were able to isolate the sections and then drain each, which he noted was done in-house. The regional operations department also repaired a total of 152 major breakages and 666 minor leaks.
For the East Bank of Demerara, GWI was able to service 220 customers for the first time in Timehri North and also repair over 900 minor leaks and 55 major leaks. They were also able to replace three transformers at Lusignan and Helena on the East Coast of Demerara and also introduce SeaQuest at Sparendaam to improve the quality of water.
Over 3,000 customers are now benefitting from a 24-hour supply of treated water with the activation of the Cotton Tree Water Treatment Plan in Region 5 as well as the extension of distribution mains at De Hoop, Paradise Village, Onverwagt, Good Faith and Ithaca.
In Region 6, 5,216 feet of pipes were installed in various villages to improve the service to customers and first-time access to potable water was delivered to residents of Lighttown, Highbury and Deutichem on the East Bank of Berbice. Seaquest was also employed in Sheet Anchor to reduce the presence of iron in the water.
Two hundred residents of Wayaleng in Region 7 were able to have first time access to potable water while over 1,200 persons are expected to benefit from water supply im-provement in Para-makatoi in Region 8. Works are also ongoing in Campbelltown to provide access to potable water to over 200 residents. Van West-Charles also noted that works are continuing in Region 9 to expand the water distribution network in Lethem and when finished over 535 residents will benefit from first-time access to water.
In Region 10, approximately 9,100 persons have benefitted from the replacement of a transmission main from the Wisroc Water Treatment Plant to the reservoir and another 6,400 will benefit from improved water quality following the redesigning of filters at the Amelia’s Ward’s Water Treatment Plant.
He also noted that they have secured the recommendation of the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) for their laboratory to be certified under the Guyana Standard (GYS) 170 for testing laboratories.
“We also have had a number of regularisation in squatting areas in Region 3, in the Nismes squatting area, Patentia area, Good Intent. We have had a number of residents which we had regularised and had the service improved,” he added.
He also explained that of their 24 treatment plants around the country, 22 of them have been consistently compliant with the World Health Organisation standards. The other two – Vergenoegen and Central – have been fluctuating.
“So, in essence, we’ve been working and monitoring and testing very frequently to ensure that the water that is available are all in compliance with the WHO standards,” he added.
Van West-Charles also said that they will be purchasing new equipment with which they will be able to do maintenance works on their wells in record time. While some wells would take weeks to be maintained, with the new equipment they will take less than a day.