Support Village Voice News With a Donation of Your Choice.
Repeating the Constitutional guarantee of ‘water security,’ former President David Granger on Friday lamented that more is not being done to provide many families with access to safe, regular and reliable water supplies.
Appearing on his weekly programme, ‘The Public Interest’, the former President acknowledged that the four hinterland regions are relatively ‘water insecure.’ Regions Nos. 1, 7 and 8 still have relatively low access to ‘improved’ sources and Region No. 9, where fewer than 50 per cent of the residents receive water from ‘improved’ sources, is most challenged, despite improvements since 2015.
Mr. Granger reminded that, while in office, the A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) coalition engaged the Brazilian Government for its Army Construction Engineer Battalion to install eight wells to provide year-long potable water to the South Rupununi during the long dry season.
He said that the coalition also extended and expanded delivery of water by drilling five new wells in Region No.1, four new wells in Region No.8 including Mahdia Town, and 16 new wells in Region No.9.
The former President restated his belief that safe water is not a favour but a human right.
“Water security is recognised by the Constitution of Guyana which states: “The well-being of the nation depends upon preserving clean air, fertile soils, pure water and the rich diversity of plants, animals and ecosystems,” he said.
The United Nations General Assembly recognised the ‘human right to water and sanitation’ and acknowledged that safe drinking water and sanitation are essential to the realisation of all human rights,” Granger explained.
Water distribution on the coastland has also been unreliable with some residents obliged to use individual ‘black tanks’ cisterns. Canals are no longer safe sources of water because they can be contaminated with agricultural and biological and chemical waste. The result of water insecurity is that the ‘bottled water’ market has boomed, and a litre of water can cost almost as much as a litre of gasoline.
The former president made it known that water security must mean that every citizen should be entitled, communities must have access, and the country must deliver safe and sanitary water to its citizens.