More than 22,000 people are expected to benefit from improved access to water through a newly commissioned water well at Lusignan on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD), Minister of Housing and Water Collin Croal said on Tuesday.
The well, based on reports from the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI), cost some $141 million. According to Croal, each household in Lusignan and several surrounding communities will now have improved access to water.
The new well was commissioned on Tuesday by President Dr. Irfaan Ali; it produces some 210 cubic metres of water per hour.
And the President emphasised that this is only a small part of the government’s plans to guarantee that residents, whether they live on the coast or in hinterland and riverain areas, have access to clean water.
In fact, the Head-of-State announced that the government intends to spend $11 billion in the water sector over the next two years to improve access to water.
By 2025, he said that all people residing on the coast must have full access to potable, treated water, while all people in hinterland and riverain communities should be able to access water. Currently, only about 60 per cent of people residing in hinterland and riverain communities have access to a consistent supply of water.
Despite the significant investment needed to achieve these targets, the President said, “… we are committing to you that we are going to deliver this without a single cent increase on the water tariff that you are going to pay.”
Dr. Ali also said that the government will be investing in 12 water treatment plants all across the country; this is part of efforts to ensure that people can utilise clean water.
Since taking office in August 2020, the President said the government has spent more than $6 billion on improving the water sector. Why this spending is key, he explained, is because an expanded water sector is a fundamental part of the government’s industrialisation plan.
He also posited that growing housing needs require sufficient water solutions.
Meanwhile, GWI’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Shaik Baksh said that the body plans to develop eight wells on coastland and 30 wells in hinterland this year.