The community of St. Cuthbert’s Mission located in Region 4 now boasts of significantly improved water supply with the commissioning of an $8.1M upgraded and expanded water supply system which is benefitting some 700 residents.
Of these 700 residents, more than 300 are receiving potable water for the first time as a result of the Government of Guyana-funded project.
The project was executed by Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) in-house staff, the village council and a local contractor was used to refurbish a metal trestle.
It entailed the upgrading of the distribution system, trestle rehabilitation, leak repairs, well head rehabilitation and discharge and the installation of new service connections.
This is in keeping with a commitment made by Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Hon. Susan Rodrigues who on Wednesday, 20th October, 2021 commissioned the system.
During her feature address at the commissioning ceremony, which was hosted at the St. Cuthbert’s mission Primary School, Minister Rodrigues highlighted that 90 percent of the community is benefitting from the upgraded water supply system. This is in comparison to the 35 percent that was being served before the upgrade.
She noted that the system was in dire need of an upgrade since this wasn’t done in several years. Hence, the upgrade was done and the system now has the capacity to serve twice as many residents that it is currently serving.
The Minister took the opportunity to stress the importance of ensuring that residents are satisfied with the service they are receiving and that maximum service is achieved from the project. She assured the residents that no effort will be spared in this regard.
She added that there is also a need to ensure that the system is maintained even as she urged the Village Council to take ownership of the system.
Minister Rodrigues expressed gratitude to the GWI technical team responsible for the execution of the project as well as the community members for their cooperation.
She also used the opportunity to highlight that before the end of 2021, five new wells will be drilled along the Linden/Soesdyke highway in the communities of Swan, Kuru Kuru, Kairuni, Long Creek and Moblissa.
Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Housing and Water, Andre Ally highlighted that in 2021, a programme of $344M is being executed in the Hinterland regions (1, 7, 8 & 9) to provide potable water to communities there.
This includes the drilling of new wells, the upgrading of water supply systems and the installation of Photovoltaic systems.
According to him, Guyana is edging closer to realizing the goal of equal access to potable water in the hinterland as on the coastland. He said that the Ministry and by extension GWI has been delivering and will continue to deliver in this area.
Executive Director of Hinterland Services of GWI, Ramchand Jailal in his remarks explained that the water produced by the well is safe for consumption and no additional treatment is needed.
He also stated that training will be done with community representatives on the operation and maintenance of the system, solar power, water quality, among other areas.
The Hinterland Director urged the community to maintain the system and in this regard suggested that a water committee be established by the Village Council to have oversight.
Toshao of St. Cuthbert’s Mission, Timothy Andrews said that the water supply system is yet another promise fulfilled by the Government of Guyana.
He remarked that residents will now be able to enjoy a better quality of life with the upgraded and expanded system.
The village leader expressed confidence that the system will ensure not only easy access to water but an efficient and regular water supply for the community. He thanked all those involved in the execution of the project.
Residents were pleased with the Minister’s intervention to improve the water supply in the community.
Nursery, Primary and Secondary schools, Health Centre and Teachers’ quarters are also among the beneficiaries of this project.
There still remains approximately 30 households on the outskirts of the village without water access and GWI will be working closely with the village council to ensure that these residents too gain access.