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By Sharmain GraingerResidents of Diamond on the East Bank of Demerara were without running water for a few weeks earlier this year. It was reportedly caused by issues with the well there, and it wasn’t at all surprising that the experience was ratherPart of the well-drilling process.upsetting to residents; after all they have long grown accustomed to water flowing from their taps.But can you imagine living in an area where no attempts were ever made to install a water distribution network to facilitate running water in the home or even anywhere in the community for that matter?Many of us on the coastland will never be able to relate to such a state of affairs, which interestingly enough, exists in some Amerindian communities and possibly quite a few others.Nestled in my coastland existence, I rarely give a thought about how people in far flung areas live. So understandably I was taken aback when a friend of mine told me that some of our first people, who live in hinterland locations, are subjected to a very primitive existence. Primitive, in a relative sense, translates to these residents having to access water from a creek to drink, cook, clean and do other chores.The conversation was spurred by recent disclosures that the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) is working swiftly towards providing a water distribution network for the first time to Karrau – an Amerindian community. This small community in Region Seven is situated about 15 minutes away – by speed boat – from Bartica.The way I heard the story, though, is that the Toshao (community leader) of Karrau, Mr. Bertille Thomas, was one of the key advocates for the water development initiative.But his advocacy was not instigated because residents in the community were tired of accessing water from a creek and wanted a modern-day change. Rather, it became imperative afterA warm welcome awaits all and sundry.someone from outside of the community started mining activities that resulted in the lone source of “potable” water becoming contaminated.The contamination situation, I was told, was brought to the attention of Dr. Richard Van West-Charles,Jordan Shoes For Sale Cheap, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the GWI, earlier this year when he visited Bartica to meet with residents. While there he spoke of an ambitious plan to ensure that all of Guyana has water security, characterized by people being able to access potable water 24 hours per day. Some residents of Karrau were there to hear the promise of the CEO, including the Toshao, and he (the Toshao) reportedly wasted no time in highlighting the situation that existed in his community. The GWI CEO, enlightened about the contamination situation,Cheap Jerseys USA, was swift in issuing a directive for remedial measures to be engaged.Based on information I was able to solicit from GWI last week,Wholesale Jerseys China, a water distribution network for Karrau is not only moving apace, but it is slated for completion well before May 26, 2016 – Independence Day.What was especially notable about this project, aside from the fact that it is being realized 50 years after Guyana gained its independence, was that GWI did not have to undertake it independently.Water flows for the first time in Karrau.At least this is according to GWI’s Head of Technical Services, Mr. Dwayne Shako. He related to me that based on the CEO’s directive, a technical team visited Karrau and it was found that the creek’s contamination was alarming.  This, of course, was confirmed by tests that deduced that the turbidity of the creek water was very high. Shako described the water as “very muddy” and “really not fit for human consumption.”Following the assessment, a meeting was convened between GWI and Region Seven regional officials, including the Toshao of Karrau. The outcome was a decision for the parties involved to work in collaboration to realize the goal of a new potable water source for the village.Indeed a partnership was forged, as the residents didn’t merely relax and wait on GWI to get things going. According to Shako, the Toshao of Karrau advanced the sum of about $200,000 to a contractor to get the work of digging a well going.The digging process was completed just over a week ago, and currently “we are assessing its productivity,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, complete with a pump test, to see if it will be able to have the yield to supply the community,” Shako informed.He, however, noted that if the well doesn’t meet the anticipated expectation “we will move ahead with a second well.”Once the water distribution system is in place, about 25-30 households will for the first time be able to source potable water from it.It is estimated that by the time the well is completed, a total of $1.3 million would have been expended, according to Shako. However, GWI, he disclosed, will have to expend additional funds to install a pump, storage facility, and the pipe network to allow water to be distributed to the homes of Karrau residents.While in the initial stages GWI will provide technical assistance to manage and monitor the new water distribution system in Karrau, Shako noted that the long term plan is to train identified members of the community to eventually take on the task.Even as he stressed the national water security intent of Dr. Van West-Charles,Cheap Nike Shox Shoes, Shako underscored that Karrau is not the only area outside of the coastland that GWI has been focusing attention.“The dry weather that we experienced over a month ago really hit home to us, and we have realised that we have other Guyanese living in the hinterland and sometimes their source of water is a creek and/or a shallow well that is around 40 or 50 feet,” he related, as he added “once there is an extended dry season they really feel the brunt of it.”Wells along the coast usually have a depth of about 800 -900 feet,MLB Jerseys China Authentic, unlike what is obtained in hinterland regions. But according to Shako, GWI in its water security effort is aiming to ensure that the communities across the country not only have water, but have adequate back-up in case of long dry seasons.It turns out that the year of our golden jubilee is allowing for all sorts of realizations, including the need for tremendous efforts to be plugged into providing potable water in a land of many waters – a great deal of which is contaminated.
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