Amerindian communities getting more potable water Guyana Chronicle
November 21, 2006

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AMERINDIAN communities are getting more potable water as the government strives to meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) among which is halving the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water by 2015.

Reporting the development, the Government Information Agency (GINA) said residents of Sand Creek and Aishalton, in Region Nine (Upper Takutu/Upper Essequibo) and St Cuthbert’s Mission, the only Amerindian community in Region Four (Demerara/Mahaica), have begun to benefit from the installation of solar pumping systems.

GINA said the works were done by the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF), one of the government’s project execution agencies.

GINA said the government is seeking funding, to the tune of $29.7M, from the (British) Department for International Development (DFID) to expand potable water systems in 10 villages of Regions Nine and One (Barima/Waini).

The projects will entail sinking wells fitted with hand pumps and rainwater catchments in a majority of the villages where the intended beneficiaries number at least 2,800, GINA said.

Meanwhile, it said the Ministry of Housing and Water is providing funds to rehabilitate and repair existing water supply systems.

GINA said Guyana, over the past 13 years, has been working towards ensuring potable water for all Guyanese and channelling significant amounts of resources to achieve that objective.

The agency said the 2006 National Budget allocated $1.5 billion to the water sector, with $240M for service connections, implementation of the Hinterland Water Strategy, construction of ground storage tanks, procurement of hardware and software and development of new networks.

GINA said capital works were completed at Mabaruma and Waramuri settlements in Region One; Laluni and St Cuthbert’s in Region Four; Moraikobai in Region Five (Mahaica/Berbice); Orealla in Region Six (East Berbice/Corentyne); Mahdia in Region Eight (Potaro/Siparuni) and Bina Hill (Annai), Fairview, Shiriri, Massara, Apoteri, Karasabai, Potarinau (Ambrose) and Mururnanawau in Region Nine.

According to GINA, some supplementary projects, undertaken by the government in August, are progressing at Hotoquai and Riverview while others at Kartabo and Annai have been completed.

The agency said a $44.5M project, to improve water supply facilities in Region Seven (Cuyuni/Mazaruni), is being undertaken by the Guyana Micro Projects Programme (GMPP).

Residents in several other villages, Kamarang, Imbaimadai, Warawatta, Paruima, Waramadong, Quebanang, Koka, Kambaru, Jawalla, Wax Creek, Philipai and Chinawieng among them, will benefit shortly when water systems are installed in their villages, GINA stated.

It said, to further enhance water sector development in Amerindian communities, the government has developed and implemented a pilot scheme to train attendants who would be paid a stipend to be responsible, in each village, for servicing, maintaining and reporting to Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) on the operation of community water pumps.

The Volume Level Operation and Maintenance (VLOM) management course, as it is called, that started in May for representatives of 11 villages in South Central Rupununi, has concluded and more sessions are to be conducted by year end at Lethem, Annai, Karasabai and Aishalton, in Rupununi, too.