Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 June 2016, 20:36 by Denis Chabrol
Water security in Region Nine will be significantly boosted by the end of 2016. The region is set to benefit from the addition of 25 new wells, which will be completed before the end of the year.
Guyana Water Incorporated’s (GWI’s) Executive Director for Infrastructure Planning and Implementation, Ramchand Jailal in a recent interview with the Government Information Agency (GINA) said that eight of the wells are being undertaken by GWI in collaboration with the Region Nine administration. A similar number will be sunk by the Brazilian Army, while five will be drilled by the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) and four others will be done through the Regional Democratic Council of Region Nine.
Jailal explained that with regards the first eight wells, GWI entered into an agreement with the region for a Brazilian contractor to undertake the drilling, due to El Nino weather conditions encountered in the region in 2015 and earlier this year. Under this programme, two wells have since been completed, one at Rupertee and another at Wowetta, which are providing services to the communities from underground water resources. The remaining six wells will be drilled in the communities of Aranaputa, Kwaimatta, Marcanata, Kumu, Potarinau and Shulinab. These six wells are scheduled to be constructed in the latter half of 2016, Jailal said.
He explained that because of the current rainfall in the area, “the contractor had to move some of his equipment just to ensure that they are maintained and to have them ready to recommence drilling in another few weeks.”
He noted that it is better to drill in the dry season, as it allows for the “wells to be set at the right level.”
The support from the Brazilian Army for the safe water intervention in the region is coming through collaboration with the Civil Defence Commission. Jailal pointed out that the neighbouring country’s army is expected to commence drilling of the wells in September. He said that they will be working in the South and Deep South in the eight communities of Shea, Maruranau, Awarenau, Aishalton, Karaudaranau, Meriwau Achiwib and Parabara Villages. In addition to undertaking the works, the army will also be providing the equipment and material for the drilling of the wells. He explained that what the GWI would be providing is administrative cost.
Meanwhile, the BNTF will be drilling the wells at Apoteri, Tiger Pond, Crash Water and Semonie. That agency also has a larger project to improve the water supply in Lethem which will see the refurbishing of elevated storage tanks in the Tabatinga and Culvert City housing schemes.
Jailal explained that the BNTF programmes come in a complete package. “These projects provide for drilling of the wells, construction of elevated storage facilities (trestles with tanks), along with the photovoltaic system (solar panels and electrical system) and the pipelines for providing communities with the stand pipe and connecting it with the trestle,” he said.
The regional administration, will drill wells at Massara, Quiko, Taushida, and Annai.
Along with these interventions, GWI will also be establishing an office in Lethem, where the water company will have an engineer to operate and monitor the water supply system in the region full time.
The interventions are expected to boost access to potable water supply for residents in the region, especially in the dry season.