There is a need for more collaboration between village councils and the Guyana Water Incorporated. This is according to the water company’s Managing Director, Dr Richard Van West-Charles, as he addressed the second board meeting of the Kanuku Mountain Community Representative Group’s (KNCRG) for this year.

Van West-Charles was at the time speaking to Toshaos and other village representatives in the presence of the Minister and Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs, Mr Sydney Allicock and Minister Valerie Garrido-Lowe, respectively, in Lethem on Thursday, August 8.

Dr Van West-Charles noted that greater collaboration will guide GWI on how to prioritise, monitor, and address gaps within Indigenous villages.

Operating by the principles outlined by President David Granger, the Managing Director reiterated that the water utility is committed to ensuring issues of access and quality water are addressed.

It is with this in mind that GWI has stepped in to focus on access to water in critical facilities such as schools, hot meal buildings, health centres, and sanitary blocks.

As the sole water utility, GWI should be integrally involved when new economic community projects that require water are being planned, Dr Van West-Charles stated.

He added that shallow, hand-dug wells can no longer suffice and, as such, the company has undertaken to drill deeper wells using new technology.

Distribution networks are also being installed to guarantee access to water, even for residents living far from the water source and on the hill.

D. Van West-Charles posited that access to water in their homes will allow them to have showers and flush toilets, thus eliminating the need to walk long distances to fetch water and bridging the gap with the coastland.

President of the KMCRG, Mr Russian Dorrick, said that residents have welcomed water access in their homes, particularly after a day’s work in the fields.

Minister Allicock commended GWI for the works done throughout Region 9 to date and called on the villages to maintain the water systems.

GWI is in the process of acquiring two rigs and other equipment, which would further enhance its efficiency of drilling wells in a timely manner.


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