–plans to examine potential of Hosororo spring
A recent assessment of the water systems in Mabaruma and surrounding villages in Region One (Barima-Waini), has highlighted the need for an expansion of the distribution network and hours of supply so as to increase the water supply in the region. The assessment was conducted during a two-day visit to the region, on August 17 and 18, by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI), Shaik Baksh, and a team of technical officers.
According to a press release from GWI, the team visited Yarakita, Kamwatta, White Water, Hosororo Falls and Khan’s Hill.
In Yarakita, GWI committed to increasing their water coverage to 95 per cent, as opposed to the current 70 per cent. This entails inspecting the well and possibly upgrading the solar panels to extend the pumping capacity to farther areas, including the migrants’ settlement.
GWI, with support from UNICEF and UNDP, is also looking at repairing an existing hand pump in the settlement area. The village currently depends on a rain water harvesting system that was set up by UNICEF under the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme.
The team also visited the community health post in Yarakita and committed to rectifying its line network, since the health worker there complained of receiving inconsistent water supply. This was due to internal plumbing issues as well as a lack of monitoring of the water supply system on the part of the Community Service Officers (CSOs). GWI also promised to place a hand washing sink at the entrance of the building.
To this end, Baksh pointed to the need for programmes targetting the monitoring and maintenance of the systems.
GWI has also organised a training seminar for CSOs to operate and regulate the system. This forms part of a partnership between GWI and the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs.
“I’m not satisfied that we’re there as yet and whilst we have done some training already, it has to be more intense and we intend to return to ensure that training is delivered to all these communities so that the systems are properly maintained. If not, the level of service would decline and it would not be in the best interest of the residents”, the CEO said. This training will benefit Yarakita and Kamwatta and is being facilitated by GWI’s officer in charge of Region One, Richard Robinson.
According to Robinson, the wells are producing at their maximum capacity, but inconsistent weather patterns affect the functionality of the solar panels, thus resulting in an intermittent water supply to residents. He explained, however, that with the training of the CSOs and regular monitoring of the systems, their hours of service would improve significantly. Robinson also highlighted plans for the extension of the distribution network in parts of Mabaruma, to supply water to areas that never benefitted from this utility before. Meanwhile, over at Khan’s Hill, Robinson noted a resistivity logging exercise was recently conducted, paving the way for a new well to be drilled to supply the area for the first time.
He also said: “Preparation is being made to possibly restore a well found in the Arakuru, White Water area. If the technical team deems it fit, residents should be able to receive water later this year.” At the Hosororo spring, GWI is eyeing a water source that can supply Central Mabaruma. In speaking about the potential that exists at the Hosororo spring, Baksh said: “Since 2013, when I was CEO at GWI, I looked at that and I was optimistic it could be tapped. However, work has to be done to ensure the sustainability of the water source and the idea is to bring the water up through the solar systems or other means…to supply the whole of Mabaruma.”
Robinson followed up by saying that the water systems are interconnected, so at one point in the future, they are looking to have a redundancy to ensure that the service is never disrupted. The study to determine the water volume and sustainability of the Hosororo spring would entail a collaboration between GWI and the Hydromet Office to monitor the flow of water for six to nine months.