East Berbice residents block roadway, protest GWI convoy over lack of potable water

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A team of high level officials, led by Public Affairs Minister Dawn Hastings-Williams, was intercepted by protesting residents on the East Bank of Berbice, demanding access to potable water.

The team, which included Managing Director of the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) Dr Richard Van West Charles, was on its way to re-commission a water system in Mara, EBB, on Thursday.

However, from Hiburry and Light Town, residents used barrels and water tanks to block the roadway. The residents, which included uniformed children, held up placards and demanded a solution from the relevant authorities.
The Police Force was called in to address the situation, but the protesters were resolute in their stance and wanted assurances from the officials.

In doing so, Minister Hastings-Williams committed to the residents that she would ensure they received potable water as soon as practicable. She pointed out to the crowd that they are not alone their in plight since many other communities across the country are facing the same situation.

On this note, she asserted that the Administration is working on ensuring that that all Guyanese have access to potable in their homes.

Meanwhile, the GWI head also gave assurances to the protestors that he will do everything he can so that they can get potable water in those villages. He explained that the water company is currently looking at the Well at Sisters Village, EBB, as well as other Wells that are down. He added, however, this would require them to transport the necessary equipment to carry out these rehabilitative works, which takes time.

Moreover, Van West-Charles told the angry residents that in the meantime, GWI will continue to take in water into the area via trucks.

The residents, however, complained to the officials that the truck would usually provide one barrel of water to each household once per month.

Nevertheless, the GWI boss assured that a solution will be in place by the first quarter of next year, further disclosing that he will engage the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) to decide on the location of a new Well for the area.

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