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|Description||Having recognised the weaknesses and strengthens of the Guyana Water Incorporated¡¯s (GWI) distribution service, a whopping sum, far exceeding $3 B, will be directed to improving the operation of the water sector.Minister of Housing and Water, Irfaan Ali, made this disclosure during a recent press conference. He said that funding for the improvement plan will be sourced through government and various funding agencies. According to the Minister, GWI has in fact embarked on the implementation of a strategic turn-around plan. He said that efforts have been made to detail all of the weaknesses and strengthens of the system, thus, a strategy has been developed to move the entity to another level.¡°We are hoping to have the level improved in certain villages and regions, where the service is poor, to one within another 12 months that will be at least adequate in terms of the pressure and the flow of water,¡± the minister noted.He said that a number of plans have been initialised, including the acquisition of new capital infrastructure which means new wells, new distribution networks and the consolidating of existing capital investments.Of importance, too, are plans to reduce wastage and non-revenue water, which Ali regarded as critical elements of the turn-around initiative that is poised for implementation.And much attention will be directed to the hinterland regions, the Minister said. He added that during a recent trip to Region Nine, it was observed that the prolonged dry season has had a dire impact on a number of communities.¡°We have visited more than nine communities in the North Rupununi, and we are going to monitor very closely, the present weather pattern that has the potential of posing threats to our system, especially since most of our wells in the hinterland region are shallow.¡±According to the Minister, extremely long periods of dry weather have the effect of drying up the shallow wells, thus, the need for the situation to be monitored closely. He added that drastic interventions will be implemented if the dry weather continues over the next two weeks.¡°In the meantime, we have identified some critical areas that we will be extending the drilling capacity, that is going deeper, especially in communities that are larger and require a larger service level. That is an immediate plan of action we will be embarking on.¡±A total of $195 M will be directed to the hinterland, the Minister said.He disclosed that approximately $75 M has been secured from the Japanese Government, that will be used primarily to purchase solar pumps, to service critical areas such as health centres and schools. The new pumps, the Minister said, will help to supplement the hand pump systems in operation there.A total of 35 communities are expected to benefit from the intervention of solar pumping systems this year, Ali said. However, he pointed out that the investment in the hinterland has nil return, since it is completely subsidised by the government. And even as GWI prepares to address the distribution of water in the hinterland areas, the Minister said that there are entities that harm rather than improve the system in their efforts to help the communities.¡°We were disturbed by the lack of consultation with the communities. They have expressed concern, as well as the Regional Administration, the Ministry and GWI in relation to the Guyana Red Cross completing projects in the hinterland.¡±According to the Minister, the Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) has been working in an isolated manner without having the involvement of key stakeholders, thus, posing difficulties in the way GWI is able to manage capital investments.¡°We have cases where wells are dug right next to each other and this is because of the communication. So we are very disturbed with this course of action and we will be calling in the Red Cross to discuss the matter conclusively,cheap jerseys from china,¡± the Minister asserted.He noted, however, that GWI is in no way averse to the support of NGOs if they work collaboratively so that projects can be done in a structured manner.|
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