Thousands without potable water on WCD

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Residents gather to source water from the trench

Thousands of persons on the West Coast of Demerara (WCD) have been deprived of potable water for the past three weeks, which has caused major disturbances in the execution of chores and other daily routines.

Presently, four major villages – Meten-Meer-Zorg, Zeelugt, De Kinderen and Tuschen – are facing the unbearable inconvenience that has left villagers with no other option than to source water from nearby trenches.

One of the affected persons, who hail from Railway View, Meten-Meer-Zorg, related to <<<<<INews>>>> that water would normally be supplied from a well that is situated in close proximity. However, a restoration exercise was ongoing that was expected to last for four days. It has since been three weeks and the water supply was not restored.

She further noted that the only relief the community received was the allocation of half of a barrel of water to an entire household. This did not suffice for even a few hours.

a resident making his way home after getting his bucket of water

“I am not getting any at all. What they used to do was come around with a half barrel water and give from a tractor to support you with it. Now we aren’t getting in almost three weeks. Everybody is without water.”

“I have four tanks and imagine all is empty. What about those that don’t have? Is a lot that don’t have. Presently, I’m running mad cause I got to wash the children school cloths for tomorrow morning. I don’t know what to do. Every day I would keep calling them,” a resident said.

This is not the first time such activities have occurred, since constant repairs are being done on the well.

“They tell us that the repair would be for four or five days and now is three weeks. We ain’t getting rainfall so it affecting us really. They were repairing the well and it’s a constant thing to repair the well every three and four months. They saying every time you call that it coming on the same day and we living in hope,” a resident related to this Online Publication.

In Zeelugt, a different scenario enveloped the village as persons in distress walked about the streets with their buckets to obtain water from nearby trenches. Bicycles were seen transporting the water to their homes and would thereby be used for washing and cleaning.

Councillor of Constituency Number Four, Poorandai Sukhu, vented her frustration at the way the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) has handled the matter, as she explained to <<<<INews>>>>> that no interventions were made to fix this long-term issue.

The Councillor recalled, “Now since last week, we getting no water. The entire village is without water. The residents have to go by the trench to dip water to do their chores. They have a pump station in Vergenoegen and since we’ve been having this problem. We write GWI and they replied that they will fix the problem but the problem is getting worse.”

Initially, the area was supplied with potable water on a 24h basis. Consequently in 2016, a decision was taken to modify this process. For the past days, GWI has reportedly shut down the pump station with no explanation being issued to those affected.

“We used to get water all day, 24 hours. Since this Government took over, we getting water from 05:00h to 12:00h noon. It stops and then you getting back water at 17:00h to 19:00h. Although they have a specific time, sometimes they don’t put on the pump,” said Suhku.

A family transporting the buckets of water on a bicycle

In relation to the quality of water being distributed, it was safe to say that it cannot be used for drinking purposes and in some cases, even domestic uses.

“The water is not clear. It’s reddish, sometimes it’s muddy and sometimes you can’t use it because it causing itching on the children and the adults as well. Other villages like Tuschen North Old Scheme is having the same issue. For Zeelugt alone is like about 600 persons affected,” she mentioned.

After many letters and no action being taken to end the scourge of unreliable water distribution, the locals are insisting the utility company address the issue as soon as possible. While they are compelled to pay their bills, the quality and frequency of an important daily necessity does not meet their expectations.

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