Even with the return of rains in many parts of the coastland, many residents in Region One (Barima-Waini) lack adequate potable water. The continuing dry weather has been attributed to the El Niño weather phenomenon.
Region One Regional Chairman Brentnol Ashley
Region One Regional Chairman Brentnol Ashley told Guyana Times on Thursday that residents of the region have not acquired relief in re-gaining water in their taps as has been reported.
“Currently at the Wanaina Pump station, we are having water problems; communities such as Bumbury Hill Amerindian Village, Hosororo stretch and so forth, are not getting water currently, that’s due to the dry spell actually happening right now,” Ashley told this newspaper.
The Chairman further noted that in Barabina, Mabaruma and Wanaina, the levels of water at these three pools have dropped, which is also causing problems for inhabitants. To this end, he observed that the situation is being assessed by the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI).
“They (GWI) have been monitoring what is happening but the water levels in the pools have dropped significantly,” he emphasised. Ashley stressed that the Regional Democratic Council is undertaking collaborative efforts with the water utility and the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) to remedy the situation.
“We have been working along with GWI and CDC to get things in place,” the Chairman posited.
These dry conditions have persisted across the country since August 2015, following months of intense rainfall. Ashley had previously explained that many farmers were unable to get relief and the dry weather condition has adversely affected many of the region’s crops.
Relief but in small amounts
It was only on Thursday that Guyana Times reported that severe drought conditions in Region Nine (Upper Takatu-Upper Essequibo) were continuing. Region Nine Regional Chairman Brian Allicock informed this newspaper that residents there are now able to acquire water for domestic purposes but only in a small amount.
He noted that the region’s food supply has been affected, since main crops have started to dwindle due to the dry weather patterns. Farmers have been forced to transport animals over vast distances to source appropriate water supply. Allicock pointed out that GWI has undertaken well drilling activities to source water.
The Region Nine Chairman had also noted that the water company has been finding feasible solutions to garner short, medium and long-term relief for the affected residents.
The Ministries of Agriculture, Indigenous People’s Affairs, Public Health, and Communities, among many other orgainsations, have been collaborating to battle the crisis.
Only recently President David Granger set up a taskforce comprising a number of Ministries and organisations with the responsibility of spearheading strategies to combat the drought.
This not only includes Regions One and Nine, but other regions across Guyana that have been facing similar conditions due to the prolonged dry conditions.