Georgetown, Guyana – (October 28, 2017) Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon, earlier today, led a team inclusive of Minister within the Ministry of Natural Resources, Ms. Simona Broomes and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Guyana Water incorporated (GWI), Dr. Richard Van-West Charles to the community of Clonbrook on the East Coast of Demerara, where it was announced that the company is working to significantly improve access to quality water in all communities along the East Coast corridor in the coming months.
Speaking at a community meeting held at the Clonbrook Primary School, Dr. Van-West Charles said that the organisation had conducted an outreach in the community and held meetings with the residents to determine their immediate needs. He noted that the community has for some time, been plagued with a number of issues in terms of access and the quality of water.
“This is a part of the process of going out to see and hear from you what are some of the problems and we have commenced as you know to improve the system. We have introduced a product, one of the first places was in Clonbrook, which begins to remove iron from the water and the redness that you were experiencing. We do know that you are having some problems in terms of the level of service because the Enmore Number Two Well is down but should be back up in another three weeks with a new pump. So because the system is very well inter-connected you will see that we will be able to move water to the low lands and even to Victoria at the back for an improved service,” he said.
The CEO said that during a walkabout in the community today, it was discovered that while persons were living in the same street, some were receiving water while others were not. To this end, he announced that by the end of the new week, the company will be running with the continuation of transmission lines and interconnecting systems so that persons on both sides of the street and those at the back will have access to water. More than Clonbrook and surrounding communities, however, he said that there are numerous villages that stand to benefit.
“We are focused as a Government at looking at how this corridor and other areas can be server better. So you are going to be hearing about improvements at the back of Sparendaam as a new well is already being drilled there, a new well at Better Hope and we are also going to be looking at the treatment of the water in the Friendship/Annandale areas. Further, the overhead tank in the Friendship/Annandale area should be ready in another month and a half so the entire area will have significant improvement in the water supply,” he said.
As the company looks to ensure that the water quality in Guyana is on par with all of other Caribbean countries, Dr. Van West Charles said that it will also be exploring usage of the volume of water at the Hope Canal for usage and affording a 24 hours supply to customers.
“We want to ensure that Guyana should be no different to the supply of water as other citizens in the Caribbean. You are going to get a 24 hours supply and right now we are having some difficulty because of the GPL [Guyana Power and Light] link and we need power to produce the service. So when we have the blackout we cannot provide the water but this is one of the areas we are going to be working on. We are now in discussion at looking at using that volume of water from the Hope Canal and treating it to improve not only this area but the entire coast because that is a large volume of water,” he said.
Further, he announced that the company will be launching a software application in the next two weeks, which will give residents the ability to snap and send pictures of leakages in the system along with location information so that they can be fixed immediately to prevent wastage and compromise of the water quality.
Minister Broomes, in her brief remarks, said that the work of the GWI is a testimony of the care and concern, which the David Granger-led administration has for the Guyanese people. She noted that while a significant amount of work and projects have already been undertaken, this will be bolstered in the coming months. “The Director did not talk about what we are going to do but rather what we have done. This is a Government that will deliver,” she said.
Meanwhile, Minister Harmon, who also addressed the residents, used the opportunity to offer clarity on the appointment of Justice (Retired) James Patterson as the new Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) on October 19, 2017.
Minister Harmon said that President Granger has acted in accordance with the spirit and tenets of the Constitution and the move is, therefore, democratic and legal. He noted that the Leader of the Opposition Leader was asked to submit not one but three lists, which were all unacceptable to the President.
“The lists came and the President looked at it within the prescriptions of the Constitution and with the moral decency, which he has. When the President looked at it, he did not feel that they met the requirements of the Constitution and the President even listed the criteria and gave it to Mr. Jagdeo,” Minister Harmon said.
Minister Harmon noted that while it is unfortunate that the Opposition has decided to take the stance it has chosen, the business of the nation must and will continue. He also said that it is reckless and unbelievable that the Opposition Leader has chosen to withdraw from the Border Committee. This, he said, is a clear indication that the party’s personal interests are much greater than the national interest.
Meanwhile, Mr. Roy Kingston, a resident of Clonbrook, in an invited comment, said that he is pleased by the steps taken by the Government and GWI to reach out to the community and meet with residents. “I applaud the Minister first of all for visiting the area and to help clarify the issues that he has raised, particularly the issue that has got the country torn with the appointment of the GECOM Chairman. So I give him credit for clarifying that as there is a lot of opinions going about. I want to give the Government some credit for the programmes that the Government has invested in including a day care and computer laboratory for the youths,” he said.