IN keeping with the government’s promise to improve access to portable water, the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) will be expending some $411 million over the next three months, to construct water wells across Regions Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) and Four (Demerara-Mahaica).
Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal, told the Guyana Chronicle that some of those projects have commenced, and should be completed by the end of this year.
Some $150 million is being expended to construct a well at Lusignan, while wells are also being constructed at Providence, Wakenaam and Parika Backdam, at a cost of $106 million, $50 million and $80 million, respectively.
Additionally, Minister Croal said that five wells are being drilled at communities along the Soesdyke-Linden Highway, at an aggregate cost of $25 million.
“Our aim is to have an improved level of service, both in terms of reach and the quality of water, that is being delivered to households. So, every time we drill a new well, it is to increase our coverage and keep as part of our goal, accessibility to safe water by all our citizens. So, work on these wells is a direct part of our five-year mandate and vision at GWI,” Minister Croal said.
The Housing and Water Minister said that the works at Soesdyke, Wakenaam, and Parika are all being done by an “in-house” team from the GWI, while the other ongoing works are being outsourced to independent contractors.
Minister Croal further said that those upgrades are especially important given the government’s expanding housing programme. He noted that several of those new wells will serve to improve the water supply in several existing and potential communities.
“These wells are going to serve not just the community they are in, but also several surrounding communities to boost the water pressure in those communities. The one that we’re doing at Providence will start shortly and will help, Herstelling, Providence, Peters Hall… if we connect a number of those households right now, it would drop the pressure at Eccles, so all these wells that we are doing are important,” Minster Croal related.
Further, Minister Croal said that the ministry is moving ahead with the procurement and installation of water meters, which will be utilised to reduce wastage and increase the supply of water.
“Meters help to reduce our wastage, and this would increase our capacity for capturing non-revenue water… so, it’s just to have a better delivery of quality water and an improved service,” Minister Croal said.
In addition to wells and meters, the minister related that for the remainder of the year, there will be significant investments in the replacement of transmission lines in Central Georgetown. Minister Croal said that several of the existing lines were damaged over time.
“Why we’re changing those transmission lines in Georgetown is because those things are old, they are over a century old and so if we increase the pressure what will happen, we will get a lot of wastage.
“You know now that sometimes when you see there is a leakage for example by the Cenotaph by the Bank of Guyana, it is related to the lines… there is a similar problem nearby Cuffy Square… there’s always a similar issue, so we’re working to change those transmission lines so those transmission lines will aid in improving the level of service,” the minister related.