After five years of living with no water, residents of Lust-en-Rust on the West Bank of Demerara will finally have access to water this weekend.
The Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water Susan Rodrigues visited the area on Monday after numerous complaints from residents. It was there that she made a commitment to deliver potable water to the residents and also upgrade the community.
The community was developed five years ago by the Central Housing and Planning Authority and about 500 persons have since taken up house lots in the area.
Besides the lack of potable water, residents complained about the deplorable condition of the road and the constant robberies. So far, two murders have been committed in the community.
Two months ago the residents protested for water and electricity after five years. Since then the community now has access to electricity but only half of the community has access to water via a standpipe.
“I came for a visit today because I want to understand what’s happening in Lust-en-Rust because the complaints are numerous and I wanted to get a firsthand look at the area.
“We want to ensure that every citizen in Guyana can live in dignity, we don’t want to hear about people pumping water from the canal.
“We have to deliver potable water,” Minister Rodrigues said.
A resident, Amrit Jawahir, said that if there is no rain, then there is no water. And while some residents have managed to purchase water tanks to store water it is not enough.
“Right now we have to full water or wait on the rain, or buy a tank of water for $8000 and that could only hold you for three days,” Jawahir stated.
Rawle Tucker, who has been living in Lust-en-Rust for the past three years, explained that residents also pump water from a canal. But the water is not sanitary.
“We just taking a chance,” Tucker said.
Meanwhile, another resident, Vanessa Peters said they were promised water before and she was told to pay for the installation but she never received any water.
“The problem is some persons were connected, so I called and I asked what is it I have to do to be connected and I was told that there aren’t enough people,” Peters said.
Director of Operations at the Guyana Water Incorporated, Dwayne Shako, explained that they have begun cleaning a well in the Westminster area to supply water to the residents. A new well was also promised to the residents of Lust-en-Rust.
Mr Shako explained that they are facing challenges with low water pressure and this is why some residents cannot receive water. However, this will soon be rectified by the weekend.
Shako said there is also a challenge of unused water connections. An additional 200,000 gallons of water is needed to supply the residents of Lust-en-Rust.
“As you know Parfaite Harmonie is one of the largest schemes we have, we are presently putting in around 2.1 million gallons of water a day into Parfaite Harmonie served by four wells but yet we are not able to get water at any significant pressure into Lust-en-Rust, especially in the back area,” Shako explained.
It was further highlighted that there will also be mass installation for those who have already paid for the service. An assessment will also be done on each household and unused connections will be removed.
Going forward the Ministry will also look at the other concerns of the residents such as the deplorable state of the roads.