The number of Hinterland communities gaining access to potable water continues to climb, with Kamarang in Region 7 being the most recent addition to the list. Close to 700 persons are now benefitting from a new Water Supply System, which was commissioned on Wednesday, November 17 by Minister of Housing and Water, Hon. Collin Croal.
Minister Croal told residents that prior to the commissioning ceremony, he made a visit to Jawalla, where a team has already mobilized to commence the drilling of a new well. He explained that the completion of that system, as well as the one in Kamarang, will result in a seventy percent potable water coverage for Region 7. Meanwhile, plans are in the pipeline for a new well in Warawatta in 2022. These villages can also expect a GWI Sub-Regional Manager to overlook the systems within the Region in the New Year, the Minister announced.
Prior to the establishment of the water system in Kamarang, villagers depended on water from the Kamarang River and the rain. The Housing and Water Minister noted that over time the river has become an unreliable source of water for domestic purposes, since it is constantly being contaminated due to mining activities.
He pointed out that this well was only made possible through the investment in new technology, thus allowing the GWI Hinterland team to accurately identify a suitable location for drilling through resistivity logging to ensure a successful well.
He reiterated Government’s commitment to provide every community in Guyana with potable water access, while pointing out that the aim is to achieve this within its first term in office.
Minister Croal charged the residents to practice water conservation, noting that the responsibility on residents in the Hinterland is greater than those on the Coast since much investment is made to execute works and supply these communities.
In this regard, he thanked the Guyana Defence Force Air Corps for their assistance in significantly reducing the cost to transport materials into far flung areas.
Meanwhile, GWI’s Hinterland Services Manager, Mr. Ramchand Jailal noted that the realization of this well is groundbreaking since there were multiple failed attempts to drill in Kamarang over the past years. This, he said, was mainly due to rock formation underground, preventing drilling rigs from accessing water.
Mr. Jailal told the residents that the water supply system is now the property of the community and therefore it is their duty to take good care of it.
Additionally, he explained that GWI has trained Community Service Officers to operate and maintain the system, as well as provide weekly reports to the utility.
Toshao of Kamarang/Warwatta, Mr. Lemmel Thomas praised the Minister, GWI and the Government by extension for realizing the water supply within such a short span of time after taking office. He stated that following the collapse of a well, the community has been without potable water access for more than two decades.
Mr. Thomas therefore posited that the commissioning of this well will go down as history created under the PPP/C administration.
Also present at the ceremony was Managing Director of R. Kissoon Contracting Service, Mr. Rudranauth Roopdeo, who thanked the community members for their support during the execution of works. He also provided a quantity of sports gear to the Community Sports club, which the Minister also assisted in handing over.
Apart from the drilling of the potable water well to the depth of 150 meters, the project also entailed the installation of over 3000 meters of 50mm pipelines for the distribution network and more than 2,400 meters of 19mm lines for service connections – including 25 individual connections to public buildings 35 stand pipes.
The system also included a well pump, photovoltaic system, construction of elevated storage and installation of four, 450-gallon storage tanks.
The water system was constructed at a total cost of GYD $45 M and funded by the Government of Guyana, under it’s 2021 budget.
The new water supply system will provide first time access to potable water for 95 percent of the community including the Hospital, Schools, RDC Office, other public buildings and residents.