At UN conference, Croal tells of Guyana’s plans to ensure ready, safe supply of water for all


Guyana’s Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal, has told a United Nations (UN) high-level conference of Guyana’s robust plans to ensure the availability of water to all citizens to also ensure there is sustainable management of water resources and sanitation.

“Guyana has taken a series of steps to boost access to water, increase the efficiency of water use and mitigate threats to water quality and availability.

“We continue to improve the infrastructure for providing equitable access to safe drinking water, especially for women and children, Indigenous communities, persons with disabilities, and migrants,” Croal stated.

The United Nations has convened its first Midterm Comprehensive Review of the Implementation of the UN Decade for Action on Water and Sanitation in almost 50 years. The 2023 high-level event is the first full-fledged one since the inaugural 1977 conference was held in Argentina.

At the opening of the conference, UN Secretary-General António Guterres urged countries to “come together to find solutions to ensure everyone, everywhere has access to clean and safe water.”

Croal is leading Guyana’s delegation at the conference.

Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal addressing the UN high-level meeting at the UN Headquarters in New York (Photo: News Room/March 22, 2023)

He pointed out that Guyana is streamlining national development strategies to address the multiplicity of challenges that depleting freshwater resources have on the overall achievement of the goal to ensure the availability of fresh and safe water for all by 2030.

“Recognising the need to have a balance between these competing concerns, the Government of Guyana has adopted the Low Carbon Development Strategy 2030, which includes more Integrated Water Resources Management in tandem with other national priorities such as energy and food security.

“The Strategy also embodies Guyana’s contribution to combat climate change through the preservation of our country’s forest resources and a shift to clean and renewable energy sources,” Croal stated.

He noted that at the global level, Guyana is pushing for the acceleration of the development of “A Cooperative Global Water Information System” to strengthen policy development, promote evidence-based decision-making to support climate-smart water management and promote investments in sustainable and resilient water infrastructure.

Minister Croal with Permanent Representative of Guyana to the UN, Carolyn Rodrigues (right) and sitting behind them is Foreign Service Officer based at the Guyana UN office in New York, Royston Alkins (Photo: News Room/March 22, 2023)

“Guyana further calls for the exchange of technology and innovation between developed countries and Small Island Developing States, Landlocked and Least Developed Countries.

“Financing for water reuse, desalination, and wastewater treatment remains a major challenge for Small States which must be a high priority to promote equitable access to clean drinking water for all,” the Housing and Water Minister told the UN conference.

He said it is clear that more concerted action must be taken to restore, manage and preserve the integrity of water resources.

The conference concludes on Friday.

The minister, during the remaining two days, will be attending several roundtable discussions on various water-related issues.

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