$59M water supply system commissioned at Isseneru
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Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal drinks from the water supply system that was commissioned in Isseneru, Region Seven, where residents received first-time access to potable water
Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal drinks from the water supply system that was commissioned in Isseneru, Region Seven, where residents received first-time access to potable water

A $59M water supply system has been commissioned in the village of Isseneru, Region Seven, providing first-time access to potable water.

The system was commissioned on Tuesday by the Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal.
Also present were the Director of Hinterland Services, Ramchand Jailal; Toshao Dhaness Larson; residents and other officials.

Minister Croal, in his address, stated that the development of water and other services in hinterland communities is paramount to the government.

“We intend to provide you with the same type of development available on the coastland […] not until we are able to bridge the gap, will our work feel satisfied,” the Minister said.

Previously, there was no functioning water supply system in Isseneru, which has a population of 500 persons. Residents would, therefore, use water from the Mazaruni River and practise rainwater harvesting. The new system provides water to all residents in the central area and public buildings such as schools and the health centre.

Minister Croal also lauded the contractor, Adamantium Holdings, for the project delivery despite a number of challenges with the location and terrain.

Meanwhile, the Director of Hinterland Services, Ramchand Jailal, urged the community to ensure that the system is utilised correctly. He also noted that two Community Service Officers (CSOs) were trained in water operation and maintenance to assist with the management of the system.

The scope of works for the water supply system included: the drilling of new potable water well to a depth of 390 feet, the installation of 3000 meters of 50mm (2”) PVC pipes & 1000 meters of 19mm (3/4”) pipes with 90 service connections; construction of a 20-foot elevated metal trestle with storage and six No. 600 gallon storage tanks; installation of photovoltaic pumping system including submersible pump, controller, solar panels and accessories; and construction of galvanized chain-link fence around well and photovoltaic system.

An elevated metal trestle at the project site in Isseneru, Region Seven

The water has also been tested to ensure its quality conforms to the World Health Organization (WHO) standards.

Residents of the community also welcomed the project. Community health worker, Ronald Gayral, stated, “It would be very beneficial to the village; our main water supply would be from the creek, but when it’s dry season it would be very hard on the villagers.”

He added that the new well would provide safer drinking water, which is expected to reduce the number of illnesses caused by the contaminated water from the river.
Cedric Wilkie, a primary school teacher, remarked that the well would improve the quality of the school and community by extension.

“We should benefit within the community and school and other areas as well, so I think it’s a good initiative,” Mr Wilkie said.

Overall, when the Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali Government took Office in 2020, access to potable water supply in Region Seven was approximately 34 per cent. However, after three water supply systems were completed in 2021 at Kurutuku, Kamarang and Jawalla, access was increased to 47 per cent.

Moreover, the government is undertaking six water supply projects in 2022, including the Isseneru system, which is expected to further push water access in Region Seven to 65 per cent by the end of the year. Through GWI’s 2020-2025 strategic plan, the government is looking to increase water coverage to between 95 and 100 per cent by 2025.

During the meeting, the Minister also highlighted several interventions to benefit the residents in education, health, agricultural and infrastructure development and handed over several sports gear to the community. Residents were also given the opportunity to raise a number of issues affecting the community, which will be addressed at the Cabinet level.

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