RESIDENTS of River’s View, a village located on the border of Region 10, now have first-time and improved access to potable water with the completion of a water-supply improvement project to the tune of approximately $7M.
This project was executed by a Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) in-house team in close collaboration with the River’s View Village council and was funded by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) under the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme.
The works which were done included the installation of almost four kilometres of pipelines, the upgrading of two wells and the installation of new photovoltaic systems in the community of approximately 1,100 residents
As a result, 70 per cent of the community is now benefitting from improved or first-time access to potable water. Of these beneficiaries, 334 residents now have access to potable water for the first time. The water produced by the wells has been tested and results show that it is safe for consumption.
This achievement is in keeping with a promise made by the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Shaik Baksh during a visit to the community earlier this year upon an invitation from Village Toshao, Melena Pollard.
On Sunday, November 28, the system was commissioned by Housing and Water Minister Collin Croal, who stressed that the immediate focus is to ensure that Guyanese without access to potable water gain such access.
In this regard, he expressed confidence that GWI will achieve 100 per cent access to potable water in Guyana by 2025, five years earlier than the target set under Sustainable Development Goal Number Six.
Further, he outlined that by the end of its 2021 programme, GWI would have increased water access coverage by five per cent along the coastland.
With regard to the hinterland, Minister Croal noted that GWI has been working in a programmed way to remove the practice of the pumping of water from waterways and continues to move in the direction of the drilling of wells.
He assured residents that two community service officers from each community will be trained to maintain the water-supply systems.
The minister congratulated the residents of River’s View on their new water supply, while informing them that partnership will be explored to provide water access to the satellite community of Fall Mouth by the end of 2022.
He took the opportunity to express gratitude to UNICEF for its support in the execution of the WASH project, under which the River’s View system was funded.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer of GWI, Shaik Baksh, stressed the importance of community involvement in the execution of water-supply improvement projects.
This was evident in River’s View, which now has an improved distribution network and hundreds of residents can now access water on their premises for the first time.
Baksh was in high praise of UNICEF for making improved water supply in the community a reality under the second phase of the WASH project.
He urged the residents to care the water-supply system which is for their benefit.
UNICEF Focal point for WASH/Climate Change, Gaulbert Sutherland, in his remarks at the commissioning said that the organisation, along with its sister agency, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was happy to provide funding for the project.
According to him, UNICEF’s partnership with GWI has focused on providing WASH services in the most vulnerable hinterland communities, including those that host migrants.
He stated that the organisation is happy that the River’s View water-supply system is solar- powered, since this provides families with a higher quality of water while helping to reduce carbon emissions.
Sutherland thanked GWI and the Ministry of Housing and Water for their valuable partnership in ensuring an adequate and safe water supply for the survival and growth of children and their families in Guyana.
Toshao Pollard also used the opportunity to urge residents to care the system which is providing an invaluable resource to the community.
Prior to the execution of the water-supply improvement project, only a section of River’s View was served by one existing well.